Last year I wrote a post about Baby Grace, the child whose body was found in a plastic container on an island in Galveston Bay. Below is the follow-up post I wrote when her body was identified. I decided to re-post it because on February 2, 2009, Riley Ann Sawyer's mother was convicted of her torture and murder. Rest in peace now, little angel.
Baby Grace now has a name: Riley Ann Sawyers. Riley's mother and her new husband were arrested over the weekend and have admitted to torturing and killing her on July 24th. They beat her with leather belts, held her head under water in the bathtub, then threw her across the room, slamming her head onto a tile floor. (Read Affidavit of Probable Cause.)
After her death, the mother, Kimberly Ann Trenor, and her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler, went to Wal-Mart and purchased the blue plastic container, along with other items used to hide and dispose of Riley's body. They hid her in a shed on the property for two months, then dumped her off the Galveston Causeway.
Investigators were led to the couple after they received a phone call from Riley's paternal grandmother in Ohio, Sheryl Sawyers. Her son Robert, and Trenor were childhood sweethearts and lived with Sheryl Sawyers until Trenor moved to Texas to be with Zeigler, whom she met on a gaming site on the internet. After Riley's murder, Trenor had told everyone that Riley had been taken away by child services and she was never reported missing.
At this point, Trenor and Zeigler have been charged with injuring a child and tampering with evidence. According to legal analyst, Brian Wice, this might be a strategic move on the part of the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. As more evidence is uncovered, the charge could eventually be upgraded to capital murder.
This very sad ending for such a beautiful little girl has touched the hearts of the investigators. "Any way you look at it, we carry a piece of her with us and will always carry a little piece of her with us," said Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo. "She's still our little girl."