PORT DEPOSIT, Md. (WJZ) — A heartbroken Cecil County family prepares to bury a ten-year-old girl who police say was raped and murdered by a family friend.
Now child abuse prevention advocates are hoping other families can learn from this horrible tragedy.
Derek Valcourt has more on the case, and the man accused of the savage crime.
Experts are not surprised the little girl knew her killer. They say that’s what happens in about 90 percent of child sex abuse cases.
Ten-year-old Kami Ring was the apple of her family’s eye. Last week, their hearts were shattered when her body was discovered not far from the home where she was staying with a couple that had become like grandparents to her.
Police say DNA proves Ring’s rapist and killer was that couple’s adult son, Richard Madden, who also lived at the house.
“Although the people who Kami called her grandparents certainly may have been well intended, I’m not sure if anybody really knew who Richard Madden was,” said Adam Rosenburg, Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
Adam Rosenberg at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center says cases like this underscore the importance of asking tough questions before leaving children around anyone who isn’t a family member.
“I highly doubt in a case like this someone goes from being perfectly safe and sweet and naive to murdering a child,” Rosenburg said. “And then along the way, people are going to start wondering what else may have happened here and how this individual acted along the way.”
In fact, many family friends told WJZ they immediately suspected Madden of the crime.
“Everyone just started assuming that Richard had something to do with it because of his background,” said Charles Truslow. “And at that point in time my gut was telling me they were right.”
Madden’s criminal past included theft charges that had him serving time in prison until earlier this year, but Kami Ring’s family had no idea he was capable of rape and murder.
“They would have never even had Kami around him if they even had any inkling of him being this sick,” said Katrina Clark, victim’s godmother.
Funeral services for Kami Ring are set for Monday at noon at the Crouch Funeral Home in North East, Maryland.
Madden faces murder and rape charges and the possibility of life in prison.
The Baltimore Child Abuse Center has tips and resources for helping parents keep children safe. For more information, click here.