The most precious gift we have are our children. As a parent and father in particular, these are truly gifts of irreplaceable value. Here in the metropolitan Atlanta area, we are all disturbed by the brutal beating, sexual assault and murder of a 7-year-old girl whose remains were found in a garbage dump. Likewise, around the nation we are enraged about the reprehensible abuse directed toward helpless children regardless if they are crimes committed against boys or girls, or if they occur at Penn State or Syracuse. But even more appalling are crimes committed by parents against children.
Arthur Morgan III appeared in Monmouth County court for the murder of his two-year-old daughter Tierra Morgan-Glover. Morgan is accused of strapping the child in a car seat and tossing the car seat off a bridge into a creek. The child was alive when her father threw her into a stream, weighted down with a car jack. These are the allegations authorities made against Morgan in his first court appearance on the murder charges. Law enforcement agencies were involved in the hunt and capture of Morgan, who authorities said fled from New Jersey hours after dumping his daughter into the stream at Shark River Park in Wall Township on Nov. 21 and going to a friend’s house to drink.
The funeral for the 2-year-old was held on Monday, Dec. 5 and the older Morgan was apprehended the day after in San Diego, where he had been staying with friends since just before Thanksgiving.
Morgan, 27, was cleared by California Superior Court Judge David M. Szumowski to return to New Jersey to face murder charges in the death of his daughter. In New Jersey, he was given a $10 million bail by Superior Court Judge Thomas Scully.
The incident occurred when Morgan informed his estranged girlfriend, Imani Benton of Lakehurst that he was taking their daughter to see the movie Happy Feet Two. Benton called police when Morgan did not return the toddler later that night. Teenaged school children found Tierra the following day.
The following day a group of teens discovered the little girl’s body partially submerged in a creek. Prior to this incident, the state Department of Children and Families, had opened an investigation of the Morgan-Benton pairing after Benton accused Morgan of abuse in 2010. However, the agency could not determine whether of not abuse or neglect was occurring. Benton has accused the agency of not doing enough to prevent the 2-year-old’s death.
In addition to the murder charges brought by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on Nov. 23, Morgan also faces interstate flight and child-custody offenses. -torrance stephens