Child's death needs full examination
July 31, 2001
The death of little Angela Schnoor in 1984 has never been adequately explained. She was reported to have suffocated in her bed and died two days after being admitted to the hospital.
Last week, in the year that she would have turned 21, a Lauderdale County grand jury found probable cause that a crime was committed and indicted the child's former step-mother for murder. She will likely be extradited to Mississippi from Louisiana, where she has lived.
The child's mother, Debbie Boswell, of Meridian, is happy that Attorney General Mike Moore's office stepped in to finish a local investigation that wasn't going anywhere. It was the work of attorney general's investigators along with her own persistence in re-opening the case which got the case to this point.
She has worked without satisfaction with two different Lauderdale County district attorneys over the years. Moore was good enough to put District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell's name on a press release announcing the indictment. But the local district attorney's office has no investigators to explore this or any other criminal case. As Mitchell has said, he only presents evidence gathered by others.
Press releases from the attorney general announcing murder indictments are very rare. It may tend to attract a new round of publicity. The arrest and extradition of the defendant may do the same. Lawyers may argue over the details, but this case deserves a full, fair and complete examination by a trial jury. If evidence of foul play is convincing enough, and if the prosecution can prove its case to 12 members of a jury, someone must pay for the crime. If not, the defendant should go free.
It is sad that the circumstances of little Angela's death have gone unresolved for the past 17 years. It has been a time of terrible agony for her parents and for this community, all of whom deserve answers.