Kendall Hunt's Grandmother Begged CPS and DEFACS
To Protect Her Grandson
but No One Would Listen

Now the murderer, Gary Shadron, may go free!

July 1997
October 1997
February 10, 1998 - Kendall's Birth
May 1998
June 1998
August 98
August 31, 1998
September 1, 1998 - Kendall was murdered by Gary Shadron

Sept. 3, 1998 - Florida Times Report
Sept. 20, 1998 - Florida Times Report

February 6, 2001 - Alarming update

This is the tragic story of my late grandson, Kendall Hunt, who was murdered at the young age of six months, early one morning, while the people who loved and cherished him slept. The state of Georgia, did not follow procedure and he became a statistic, "a slip in the crack, a gray area," that is the description that the state of Georgia will tell you. I tell you, that he would be alive, if the state had followed through, instead of dropping the ball with my precious grandson.

July of 1997, my 43rd Birthday, Mindy told her step Dad, Thomas, that she was pregnant. We were surprised by the news but after talking through the details, Mindy wanted to have the baby and we stood beside her with this decision.

Mindy was 17 years of age; she was working at Steak and Shake, as a server. This is where she met, Charlie White. Mindy and Charlie began to date that early spring of 1997. When Mindy became pregnant with his baby, Charlie decided to return to his wife and his children, and Mindy was left out in the cold. As we planned for her baby to be born, we moved into a larger home, where Mindy would have her own room with the baby. We had four children living at home at this time: Amanda, 15, Rocky, 13, and Clint, 11. Amanda had her bedroom, the boys shared a bedroom, and the den we made into a room for Mindy and the baby.

Mindy had decided to return to Adult Education to follow through with her GED. We were all excited about the baby that was to be born in February of 1998.

I will never forget the day of her appointment to have her sonogram. Mindy and I went into the hospital as the sonogram was performed. There for the first time we saw the baby. A boy, I cried and Mindy cried. Your second grandchild! My first , Taylor, born to my oldest daughter and husband, Naomi and Heath Hancher, lived in North Port Florida. So, I had my grand daughter and now we were to have a grandson.

We enjoyed the preparation of the coming birth of Kendall Lee Hunt; my daughter had asked her step dad, Thomas Lee, if she could give his last name to Kendall and he had agreed. My husband collects frogs, so you can imagine the stuffed animals of Frogs that were being bought for baby Kendall.

October 1997

October of 1997, This is the day that began our family's nightmare. If only we could have seen the future, it is such a small word but so terribly important. Mindy came home from her class; she brought in someone for us to meet his name, Gary Shadron. We were told Mindy and Gary had met at Adult Education, Mindy was in her fifth month. The truth, Gary and Mindy had met in High School a few years back and had dated. Gary had been sent to Boot Camp in Juvenile Court for aggravated assault on his Mom and step father, Mindy had then began to date Charlie White, when Gary was released in October of 1997, he found Mindy. This we were not aware of until much later.

Gary was constantly at our home; He confessed his love for Mindy and wanted to be a father to her son. When did our life take the turn for the worst? That is difficult to say, but a turn for the worst it took. Mindy's friends stopped coming to visit, she dropped out of school, she decided to name Kendall, Kendall Layton, instead of Lee, because Gary's middle name was Layton. When Mindy would receive phone calls, Gary would sit there beside her while she talked. He would never let her speak to her sister, or friends in private. He began to accompany us to the doctors' appointments. Thanksgiving and Christmas had came and went. Gary had told us that his step father had beat him and told him to leave home because he had quit his job and could he stay with us for just two weeks. My husband was completely against this; he felt that this was not a good idea. How right he was, what a nightmare. Small conversations with Gary would irritate me. I am trying to remember parts of conversation with him, so as the reader you will be able to grasp the manipulating power that he managed to acquire of Mindy. He did not look for employment, he worked assignments that I could find for him, and eventually he was hired to work at a restaurant, where my husband and I knew the manager. He had completely taken control over Mindy, had moved into our home his property, the room was now all in black, with posters, black lights, etc. My husband was at this time furious. He told Gary that he had to get a job or get out, that all of his junk had to go somewhere else, the baby's room was no longer a nursery it was a complete nightmare.

As Mindy's due date was getting closer, her blood pressure was going up, she cried a lot. She would not talk with me or Tom. Gary had no where to go, he managed to manipulate Tom's daughter, Ginger, into staying at her and her fianc├ęs home. Mindy had also decided she would move out if we would not let Gary stay, she was now in her 9th month. My husband was sticking to his guns about Gary not living in our home. Mindy, had called her oldest sister, and told her that she had decided not to keep Kendall when he was born but to let someone adopt him. I guess this began our nightmare. What had took place? Where was my Mindy who wanted to keep her baby and raise her son? Is this why we did talk anymore? I called Mindy and begged her not to adopt her baby out, my husband and I would raise Kendall; I did not want my grandson taken to a stranger. Mindy said that we could meet with her and Gary and talk about this. Again, he was in control. We met at a restaurant. As we sat across from Mindy and Gary I kept thinking to myself what is going on, Gary was doing all the talking, Mindy did not say that much. Gary had stated that they had decided that Mindy would not adopt out the baby but that there would be rules to go by: That Tom and I could keep Kendall and Mindy would go and visit her son once in awhile, and that would give them time to both get work and a place to live and then we would have to give Kendall to them. At this point, we were ready to agree to anything. We suggested having a power of attorney drawn by our attorney and that was agreed on. Can you imagine what we were feeling at this point? How my husband wanted to just grab this idiot up and shake the daylights out of him. Here was this arrogant boy telling us what we were going to do if we wanted to keep Kendall and was telling us that "we" (he and Mindy) had decided on this, when I knew it was he that had made all these decisions.

He had won; he had complete control over Mindy and her son and thought he had control over us also. We found out later, that Gary's stepfather had not beat him, that Gary had quit his job, and that he had once again threatened his step father and his mother. Now, he had taken control of our family.

My husband began to talk to police officers and what we did find out scared me. Gary had a record, a record of stalking, threatening, assaulting, not just his family but young girls in school. He was dismissed from Glynn County Schools for having a gun at school and threatening a girlfriend with the gun. He had pulled a knife on his stepfather, he had stalked numerous girls, and was sent to Boot Camp each time; he was on probation. He had a history of violence and was diagnosed as a manic depressant. He was a complete idiot, and he had absolute control i Mindy.

February 10, 1998 Kendall was born a minute before midnight. We were there in the nursery with him as they bathed my grandson; I will never forget that moment of seeing Kendall for the first time. Gary looked at Kendall and said he did not need this shit and he just left. I could not believe that he would give up that easy. I was in recovery with Mindy when Gary stormed in and told me to get out he wanted to talk with Mindy alone; needless to say, more was to come. From that day until four days later, I could not see my grandson or my daughter. Mindy had told the security at the front that she was to have no phone calls from family, that I could not see her or the baby, and friends would have to be checked first before they could go back. I was living a scene from Hell. I remember walking to the nursery window and security did not want me to look at him through the window, all I could do was cry and ask why. Mindy was not the one to do this I knew who had ordered this, Gary. He stayed with Mindy twenty-four hours a day for those five days. My husband and I went to Magistrate Court to talk to judges, we were told that Mindy was 18 and considered an adult and this was her choice. When I told the judge who her boyfriend was and that he was not Kendall's father, he had his secretary check out the name on the computer. Then he realized who I was talking about and that my fears were real. We were told to talk to the director of social services at the hospital, Julie Shadwoski, that under the circumstances, Mindy being a single mom, no where to live, and that her newborn son was not Gary's child that maybe she could help us.

The day I met Julie I was so afraid she would not be able to help but she had been to visit with Mindy already. That was one of the responsibilities of her employment, to visit with young mothers to offer their help. She had assumed that Gary was Kendall's father. When I explained to her he was not and that he had been in the room with Mindy since Kendall was born and that if she could get him out of the room, Mindy would agree for her help, and that she would come home; I felt sure of this.

True to form, Julie told Gary he would need to leave the room while she visited with Mindy, and that I could go in and visit with Mindy and Kendall. Julie put Kendall in my arms, and I sat in the Rocking Chair to rock my grandson, and held him, I wept, it had been the fourth day of not being able to hold him. Mindy agreed to go home with Kendall, and to have Healthy Families help. The workers would come over once a week to visit and help Mindy with Kendall, answer any of her questions, and so forth. Tom stood his grounds and told Gary he would have to find a place to live; he could not stay with us. He had put me through enough hell.

Tom's daughter, Ginger was to be married the day that Mindy was to come home with Kendall, we had to drive into Fernanding, about two hours away. Gary went to the house with Mindy and Kendall with the stipulation that he had to leave the next morning.

It had been a long, emotional week of not being allowed to see Kendall, getting ready for this wedding, Tom's parents and sister here for the wedding; emotion and tension were very high. When we arrived home it was late and Mindy and Kendall were asleep. Gary said he wanted to talk to Rocky and Tom told him it could wait until in the morning. The following day, we were taking Gary into Brunswick to rent him a apartment; we just wanted to go to bed. As we were getting ready for bed Tom passed by Rocky's room and heard Gary outside his bedroom, yelling and screaming at Rocky. My husband was at his wits end with Gary and his shenanigans; Tom hit Gary upside his head with a sword, and the hit was not that harmful, Gary ran and Tom ran after him, and Mindy ran after Gary. The police were called. They had come for the baby but when I showed the officers the power of attorney, they told Mindy she could not take Kendall out of our home. We had power of attorney for him and she had signed it. Thank God, we had that done. I just never understood why, we could use the power of attorney then and not later when all hell broke out.

Mindy did seem to recover quickly and wanted to return to work. She worked during the day and I kept Kendall, then at night I worked, and she stayed home with the baby. Those three months went by so quickly and I am so grateful for those months that we had with Kendall. I remember coming in from working at night and looking for Kendall, he would not be in his crib, but his Papa would have him in his arms asleep, or I would have Kendall asleep and go to run errands and Papa would be outside walking him, and Kendall would be looking all around him. He loved the outdoors; he loved to look at the trees. I remember the night he rolled over, we all started yelling with delight he looked at us as ok, let me do this again, and he did. His father and paternal grandparents had begun to see Kendall and keep him every other weekend. Kendall was truly loved by all. He was such a happy, bubbly baby boy. He never wanted to sleep in his crib. We would all take turns feeding, changing diapers, bathing, rocking, and strolling him. He had his Aunt Amanda, Uncle Rocky, Uncle Clint, and of course, his grandparents; Tom and I that spoiled him, as did Sue and Charles White, his other grandparents. Everything was going so well, we were all so happy. Mindy seemed to be doing well, then things started to turn. Mindy had started seeing Gary again, did not see the Healthy Family worker. I would keep her appointments and explain that she was seeing Gary again and that I was worried and concerned he would try to manipulate Mindy again. I was right. Mindy told Tom and I that she had been saving her money to move out, and to move in with Gary and that she would be taking Kendall. It seemed as though we could never win when it came to Gary. Mindy told me that I could keep Kendall every other weekend and that Sue and Charles would be keeping him the weekend I did not. She felt that would give her and Gary time to be with each other. I asked her who would be watching Kendall when she worked. She said Ginger had agreed to keep Kendall. We were both devastated that Mindy was leaving with Kendall and we did not like the idea of her being with Gary but so far, I could see Kendall anytime I wanted to and keep him every other weekend. The month of May, Mindy and Kendall left. The house was empty for sure. I did not realize how much he would be missed. As often as I could, I would pick Mindy up and take her to work and take her home so she would not have to pay for a cab and that was most of the days she worked.

I was referred to DEFACS. Terri Davis came to my stepdaughter's home and took photos of Kendall's bruises. I was told by the supervisor, Ms. Myers, that all I could do was to report any abuse that I saw, and that in the mean time their office would investigate. They also informed me that neither my name nor Ginger's name would be revealed to Mindy. We certainly did not want her to know where they received the information. Much to my surprise, my daughter called me crying and told me that since I had interfered in her life and Kendall's. I was told could not see him for awhile because Gary was upset because of DEFACS questioning him and Mindy about the bruises. I had also taken Kendall to see his doctor, Dr. Frances Ownes. I knew that Gary had put those bruises on Kendall and my hands were tied again.

May 1998

I talked to Mindy and she told me that it was Memorial Day weekend and that Gary's nephew , who was 3, hit Kendall with a toy truck, Dr. Ownes said the bruises were the resemblance of a mans fingerprints. Mindy told me that everything was alright and that as soon as Gary calmed down, I could see Kendall. Needless to say, Ginger could no longer watch Kendall, and Mindy put Kendall in the YWCA. I could not even go there and visit with him, my name was not on the list, nor Sue or Charles White, or any of his Aunts or Uncles; just Gary's people names were allowed to go and visit. Gary was in control again.

May turned into June and Mindy called me at work one day crying, asking me would I come and get Kendall and keep him with me at home for a while until she could get things together. She said that she and Gary were having problems, and that Kendall had been burnt but it was not bad. I asked Mindy what had happened. She said that she was feeding Kendall and he reached up and knocked the cigarette out of her hand and it burnt him. I knew my daughter did not smoke around Kendall, I knew it was Gary, I told Mindy I would be at the apartment at 4:00 to pick up Kendall I was afraid of what I would find. I will never forget when I saw Kendall and his little hand with the burns; complete round burns and some blisters. I was so angry! I went upstairs with Mindy telling me not to and I faced Gary and told him that I knew he had bruised Kendall and he had now burnt him and that he had burnt Mindy also, and he needed to leave my daughter and grandson alone. He laughed at me.

I took Kendall to, Child Protective Services in Georgia, DEFACS and then to the Doctor's office. The case workers, Davis, and Adams, took photos of Kendall's burns and told me that after the doctor saw Kendall, if the doctors made the decision, they would act. I was to call them in the morning. We were all so upset and crying, wondering what would happen next.

I could not believe what happened next; I called DEFACS and Ms. Myers informed me that the doctor had stated that the burns were, in her opinion, intentional burns and that Kendall would be placed in Foster care until a custody hearing would be set for Kendall. I begged them to let me keep Kendall. I showed the power of attorney to them and I was told that the state of Georgia had over powered the papers and as a grandmother I had no rights to Kendall; he would have to go to foster care. I asked them to please let me keep him with me that day and they told me that they would be there at 5:00 to take Kendall and that they would notify Mindy. I cannot begin to describe how I felt that day. The emotions we all felt at the horror of Kendall being put with strangers. "What had I done wrong?" I reported the suspected abuse and now I could not even see him until the hearing date. I was devastated. I got together his clothes and toys and held him close to me all day. I did not want to let him go. As, I sat in the rocking chair I told Kendall that no one would ever hurt him again. I promised him that no one would ever hurt him, but it was a promise I could not keep.

June, 1998

June of 1998, Gary called me at work. I was working on Jekyll Island and my friend, Ginger, picked up one of the telephones to listen in on the call. He threatened me and told me that I would pay for interfering with his son and Mindy. He called me a bitch and was yelling and screaming at me. The Georgia Patrol was in the restaurant and advised me to fill out a complaint on Gary, which I did. He was arrested and jailed.

The day before we were to go to court to testify in Kendall's custody case, we were eating at Dakota's restaurant and struck up a conversation with an attorney named Lloyd Thompson. Guess who was Gary's Shadron's attorney? None other than Lloyd Thompson! It seems that he was a friend of the family. He never once told us that he was defending Shadron the next day in court. {It was Attorney Lloyd Thompson's duty to inform Kendall's family that he was representing Gary Shadron.}

We were all present on the day of the custody hearing for Kendall. Charlie White, Kendall's biological father, was also there to be a witness. Dr. Frances Owens testified that the bruises and the burns were intentional. Judge Manning ruled to place Kendall back at home at the home of Mindy and Gary, with the stipulation that Gary was not be left alone with the baby!

On the same day, I had to testify about Gary and his threatening phone calls to me. The charge against him for threatening me was dropped but he was placed on probation for the harassing phone calls to me. Mindy told me that I could not see Kendall, ever.

August of 1998

It was August of 1998, when Mindy called me and told me I could see Kendall. I was so excited; I had not seen him since June, two months. She said I could meet them at the day care. I remember that day so clearly, I arrived early but did not see Mindy. I waited for about 30 minutes and thought she had changed her mind. I was leaving when I saw her walking up the street with Kendall in the stroller. He had grown so much in those two months. I hugged Mindy and took my grandson from the stroller. He looked at me, as if to ask, "who are you?" Then he smiled and laughed, and I cried; he remembered me! As I walked him and he looked at the trees, I asked him, "Are you all right Kendall, is Gary still hurting you? I wish you could tell me." I told him how much I loved my pumpkin.

The next week, Aunt Amanda and Uncle Clint went with me to visit at the day care. Amanda and Clint were so excited to hold him again. They had missed him so very much; we all cried and laughed together. I asked Mindy if all was well with her and Gary she told me that everything was fine, to stop worrying so much; they were planning to be married. I still could not go to their home, I did not have the telephone number. I did not even know where she lived.

I told my husband that I needed to go and see Kendall. He took me to the day care. Mindy had just walked there with Kendall and I asked her to let me visit with Kendall for just a few minutes. She told the Day Care workers that I could visit with him but I could not go outside with him. I remember the lady who asked me if I would like to feed Kendall and to rock him. I rocked him and gave him his bottle. It had been almost three months since I had held him my beautiful grandson and been able to rock him in a rocking chair. I wanted to take him outside and walk him but the workers would not let me. I went to the door, to show Kendall to Papa; Tom saw Kendall but never got to hold him.

That day will be will me forever. It is my last good memory. That was the last day I would ever see Kendall alive!

August 31, 1998

Around 10:00 P.M., as I was about to leave from work, Mindy called me. I could tell she had been crying. I asked her if she was all right. She said not really. She told me that I could meet her at the Day Care on Thursday and I could take Kendall to my home and that she wanted Tom to visit with Kendall. I was so excited, I could hear Kendall in the background. Mindy asked me if I wanted to talk to Kendall. I told her yes and she put the telephone by Kendall. I told him, "Pumpkin I love you and I will see you soon, you are coming to Granny and Papa's house in a few days." He was laughing. I told him that I loved my pumpkin and gave him a kiss. I told Mindy that I would see them both on Thursday.

September 1, 1998

I was not feeling well after a night of restless sleep. Since I had been awake off and on all that night, I decided that I would call work and tell them I would not be in. When I called, April told me that they did not expect me in for a few days and I asked her why. April was quiet and said, "You don't know?" I remember her telling me, "Dee, Kendall is dead." I told her she was mistaken; I had just talked to Mindy and to Kendall last night. She said that it was on the news, Gary was arrested the drowning of Kendall. I just fell apart. I can remember screaming and the rest is like a dream where you are there, but not really there.

Tom and I went to find Mindy. We went to DEFACS and I spoke with the caseworkers. They still would not give me Mindy's address. I told them I would find her home on my own and we did. 25News van was outside her home. When we arrived, the man who was interviewing asked me if I knew Mindy. I cannot remember much else.

September 4, 1998

Kendall's body had been sent to Atlanta and Thursday was the day to view his body. Thursday was the day that he was to come to our home. I remember the funeral director telling me that Kendall would need a bonnet for his head. Tom, Mindy, Amanda, and I went to the mall to buy funeral clothes and to buy a bonnet. After I found the bonnet and the blanket that I wanted, we took them to the funeral home.

The family and friends were all present to be with Kendall, but Kendall would never be in my arms again; he was in the arms of the angels.

Devena Lee

If only CPS had listened, Kendall Hunt would be two years old and we would have pictures of him riding his own rocking horse;
instead the horse rocks alone.

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