Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mariah Keigley

You may be asking yourself who is this person? I would have responded the same way an hour ago. Mariah Keigley is a 14 year old girl who was recently murdered in the hills of West Virginia. After searching for a couple of days, her body was found in her home in Miletus. The story was covered in local news. I just read a second follow-up story that is even more disturbing.

I have had a hard time containing the tears since hearing this story and reading these articles. Mariah's story isn't the only one of it's type. Mariah's story is a reminder though. How often do we turn a blind eye toward injustice? What are we doing to prevent these things from happening?

I'm praying for God to help us be active in participation in His healing of the world. I'm praying that Mariah didn't die to make a headline for a day or two after her death. I'm praying that God would stir us to be awake.

I am really without words over what my friend shared with me about Mariah's story...


West Virginians Against Abuse said...

I am a member of West Virginians Against Abuse and we intend to visit Doddridge County and make sure Mariah is remembered and that justice is done. We are unable so far to find anyone in her family to talk to who cared about her, if anyone has info plese let us know. We are very sad for this child and sorry we did not know in time to save her. Please visit our web site at and please let us know if anyone has any information to add to our page on her, just click "Remember Mariah" tab. Thanks for your article on her, we were starting to wonder if anyone cares what happened to this child.

Anonymous said...

Mariah had 2 brothers and a sister that were not given the opportunity to see her for the last 10 years. David keigley took her from us and we were not permitted to see her. We firmly believe that the abuse began years before this. Mariah's mother was searching for her for years and did not know where she was until she received a call from the west virginia state police, informing her of her daughter's murder. I belive that David's family was knowledgeable of Mariah's unhappiness yet no one bothered to investigate. She was 7 months pregnant yet no one seemed to notice? It's amazing what happens when a blind eye is turned. I hope they lock David up and throw away the key. I also hope that the population in prison takes care of things themselves.

Concerned said...

Mariah's "mother" is still legally married to David Keigley. She uncerimoniously dumped Mariah off on an elderly relative of hers(Mariah's "mother's") when Mariah was 5 years old. Had she truly been looking for her, she could easily found her by contacting David's relatives who still live in the same town that they lived in when she married David in the first place. I don't buy her story.

Anonymous said...

I knew Mariah since she was in the 4th grade. She was a bright and beautiful girl going through the typical teenage struggles that all teenagers do. For WV against abuse to say that they are unable to find any family to talk to who cared about her is unbelievable, all you had to do was visit the funeral home or attend her funeral. As for wondering if anyone cares what happened to Mariah yes everyone in Doddridge County cares I don't believe there isn't a soul it didn't touch especially at the school. Most of Mariah's family lived in Harrison County and Ohio not Doddridge County and the fine people of Doddridge County are still trying to come to terms over what happened and heal from the loss of one of their children. It is a very close knit community that tends to keep to themselves and grieve privately, which is their right and should be respected. You have to remember sexual abuse is not worn like a banner the victim suffers silently usually under threats from the abuser not to tell anyone. David Keigley had already been convicted once of child abuse and neglect in Harrison County and had Mariah's older brother taken away from him by Judge Tom Bedell, so I am sure he knew how to play the system so he would not get caught again. If someone really wants to blame someone for this tragedy look no further than our court system for returning a child to the very father that abused a child and lost his parental rights in the first place. Mariah should never have been living with her father but once again our elected officials overlooked the laws and returned her to an abuser's home and now two lives have been lost.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this about the mother "looking for Mariah" either. If David took the child from her like they are trying to say-why not contact the W.Va. state police?

I am not saying David didn't take Mariah- because no one would have gave him custody of her. He has a criminal record for drug trafficking and one for child neglect for letting one of his infant children nearly starve in the 90's.

I am saying that I just don't think the mom was searching for her daughter like it was being said she was.Somebody failed somewhere and now that child never lived to see her 15 th birthday. It's a real shame-a tragic shame.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I would like to talk to anyone that knew Mariah - I would like to talk to her maternal and paternal family as well as friends - please e-mail me ---

Kaylene said...

This young lady should not be dead, she should be here to celebrate her upcoming 16th birthday surrounded by her friends and loved ones. Her case is very horrific and sad,
why are alot of people acting like it is no big deal?

Kelly Jo Ryan said...

I will miss Mariah for the rest of my life, I think it is just too horrible what happened to her and I never want so see another young girl have to suffer in silence like she did. I know without a doubt that she is in the arms of God and safe and without worry or fear anymore.

Anonymous said...

The events surrounding Mariah's life and death are nothing short of tragic. This young lady did not deserve what happened to her, nor did the family who loved her.

I am a family friend of Amber Starr's family. I have known Amber for over 15 years. I have seen her with her children and i have spent time with her leading up to her sentence for child endangering. Amber did not have anything to do with the planning or commission of this horrible act. I am not sure if she lied to the police about what she knew or not, but unless someone has been in that situation we dont know what we would do or how we would react. I suspect she was in total shock, i was when i heard about Mariah days afterward.

Did she know what was going on? I dont know, but knowing Amber and knowing her family as well as i do in my heart i dont think so, honestly.

I am a father of a girl very close in age to Mariah, and i can not see how anyone could have done what David did. I cannot begin to understand it, i dont want to. In knowing Ambers family i can tell you that there would not have been any problem finding help to protect those children, including Mariah, prior to the horrible event that took Mariah's life.

My heart still goes out to everyone involved and my prayers are there for the Keghley and Starr families who lost a young angel named Mariah. Remember her, and make sure as a society we learn how to help when help is needed...even if no one is asking. In the silence there may be a scream for help, but unless someone is listening it will never be heard.

Anonymous said...

Mariah was my cousin.. I went to her funeral in 2005. Broke my heart.. before David got her years ago my mom (her aunt) was trying to get custody of her.. also my other cousins, Mariah's biological brother and sister.
It still angers me that David would do this to Mariah.. but then HOW COULD THE WIFE KNOW AND NOT TELL ANYONE?? I'm not talking about the murder... I'm talking about the incest. How could she do that?? And the family of Mariah's... come on now.. be honest.. How could a 14 yr old GIRL be 7 mths pregnant and NO ONE knows??
I still remember the dark haired... brat that she was.. LOL. Like the time she was staying with us and she set a corner of my mom's BRAN SPANKING NEW bed on fire. hahahaha. I loved her sooo much but I really didn't even know KNOW her. The last time I seen her she had to be 4?? soo that was what? 1995??
And whoever said Penny (Mariah's biological "mother") was LOOKING for her... LOL biggest lie I've EVER heard!! Penny was a DIRTY drug addict and a whore who didn't care one way or another what happened... THAT'S how my mother got custody of her kids... we raised one of them Kelsey Keigley for.. jeeze... 6 yrs I think? She abused and let her kids go hungry, and also she screwed her "jons" while the kids were in the house... I WAS THERE.. I SEEN IT. so don't pull the same garbage she pulled at the funeral. It was humiliating... how she was crying "my baby, my baby" she didn't even know the girl for crying out loud!!
But I love ya whoever you were Mariah... always have and always will. xoxoxoxoxo your big cousin T.Wilcox

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about the people who knew Mariah Keigley... If you knew her I need ur help. Mariah Keigley was my younger cousin.. and right now I'm more worried about Mariah's younger sister Kelsey Keigley.
My mother (her aunt) raised Kelsey (mom had custody) from the time she was 2-9 yrs old. Penny just dropped them off one day and...
anyways she's been living with HER mom (Penny Keigley) for the last 5 yrs.. so I've only seen Kelsey 2 times since then, at the funeral and this weekend. well this weekend Kelsey told me some REALLY REALLY diturbing things that's been going on at home. Penny beats (verbally AND physically) her kids. Penny hasn't worked in 8-9 mths so they have no rent money every mth, they haven't had running water in the house for about that long, they're home is a mess, and Penny is up all night partying and doesn't get out of bed til 4 pm. But the ONE DISTURBING piece of info she gave me...

"Uncle" Ricky wanted to see her boobs to "protect her" then he joked about it later saying that "he was just joking" but he gave her $20.00.. I want Kelsy out of Penny's home and back to mine.. I love kelsey soooo much... I'll give anyone who wants to listen or to help anything they wanna know about this fucked up family... I just want Kelsco HOME!!
Last night (Jan 20th) I had to work and so I left Kelsey with the "family" at home... they were having a BLAST and then all of the sudden Penny shows up saying that "we got kicked out of the house so you got to come home and pack" I mean THAT QUICK.. went from happy times to Kelsey crying she don't want to go, she want to stay here.. HOME!! she came to see me at work saying that her mom was going to ask for MONEY.. I'm thinking wth!! Kelsco I would give the world but my piece of shit aunt.. no way. never. when I asked her where they're going she told me "somewhere with Scott to a crackhead house" But I knew they wouldn't find somewhere that quick... so they're at "uncle" Ricky's house... which worries me b/c of what happened with him.
And I can back it up too.
Back when we first got Kelsey.. we got Kelsey, Michael, and Mariah. This had to be '92-'94?? And we had Mariah til '95. she was 4. With Michael we gave him to his biological father Mike Howard who raised him. But Kelsey we kept and raised.
Before we gave Michael to his dad we went through alot of councelors because "uncle" Ricky molested us when we were toddlers. we even had him arrested. Michael and I were 7-8 when this all went down.
so you can understand now when I say I WANT KELSEY OUT OF THERE... NOW!!!!
Mariah unfortunately didn't get that chance... but Kelsey does and I need anyone's help! I don't want another Mariah case going on... that hurt to much!! so please if anyone could help I'd appreciate it!!
Tiffany Wilcox
19630 Locherie Ave
Euclid, OHIO 44119

Patricia said...

I'm really heartbroken to read some of the things here about Mariah's younger sister. PLEASE anyone out there that can assist Tiffany to help get Kelsey OUT of that environment.

I do not want to have this child (or her siblings) suffer like her older sister did. There is just no reason for it and I truly hope that someone reading this will actually be able to help her.

The only advice I can give since I live out of state is to call a child abuse hotline (*or if you are a minor report all this to an adult who will act on it) with all the information from what the girl has told you about what is happening in the home.

Also you need to tell Kelsey to report to someone at her school what is going on, tell a guidance counselor, a school resource officer, or another trusted adult.
She should not have to live that way and her mother ought to be hauled in to jail for this ,sounds like child neglect to me. I wish I could do more to help and I do hope Kelsey is removed from there.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to address the comments made by Tiffany Wilcox, regarding Kelsey and her Uncle Ricky. let me first explain that Tiffany's own mother is a prostitute( as admitted by tara, age 14) whose 14 year old daughter is pregnant. She has also been known to have sex with her "Johns" on the living room couch while the kids were home. (This was told to me by both Kelsey and Tiffany.) Tiffany herself is living with her mother's ex-boyfriend, Chris, who is a cocaine addict and a alcoholic. Their brother Ryan has a myspace page and there are pictures of him smoking marijuana from a hookah at the age of 17. Where is dear old mom while all of this is going on??? So before you jump to conclusions, please look at her family first. The entire Wilcox, Austin and Keigley families are screwed up.

Tiffany herself, is a pathological liar. And she is known to manipulate people to get her way. As for Kelsey. I have known her since she was 3 years old. She also is known to have lied to get her way. She is 14 and does not want to live at home, so she makes up stories to get her way. Not thinking how it affects everybody around her.

As for this garbage with Uncle Ricky. I didn't see it mentioned that the entire episode with Rick and the kids from years ago was invesitgated by the Police and Tina (Tiffany's Mom) was almost arrested for making a false police report. The funny twist to that story is that Tina put the kids up to this to get back at her brother. When the police questioned the kids, each and every one of them told the police that "Mommy told me to say it". There were never any charges filed for any of it.

This is for Tiffany, all of the words that you have written above have been copied and turned in to a lawyer. This is called slander and you are going to be sued for this. All of the facts I have mentioned can be proven and I am prepared to do that.

Patti said...

All of this other stuff aside--please PLEASE just remember the children in all of this, keep Mariah's younger sister safe and the other children in the family.
God Bless

Anonymous said...

She was my best friend. :(
I miss her so much.
It happened out 6th grade year.
All I have are the memories of her and I in school when we would do projects together. :)
I love and miss you Mariah.

Anonymous said...

i miss my big sister and i want her back

Anonymous said...

You know another year goes by, and I still can't believe that she is gone. Her funeral is still so fresh in my mind... someone so young... to die the way she had too. It's unhuman, unreal that someone could do that terrible crime. Shameful...
Yet I did not even know the person that she was when she died. Only thing I have are memories of her when she was young.
Unlike some people I can honestly say that the saying "out of sight, out of mind" is so true, but yet when the adults are out of hand... and the children are forced to stay with these adults until they themselves are adults, it is easy to see how I would not have known who she was then and regretfully will never know now.
The children in this family have dealt with beatings, homelessness, hunger, fear, cowardness, humiliation, etc from these so called "ADULTS" but yet when someone speaks the truth they always have to have the last word and point their fingers back at us the CHILDREN.
We didn't ask to be here, no one ever does. But it's funny when the children behave as the adults, when the adults themselves act like children.
It is a crying shame that Mariah's siblings will never get to meet her.
This family has so much HATE and cowardness for eachother. So I for one am happy that Mariah is in a safe and LOVING place... it might have taken 14 yrs for her to find it, but she has.
Imagine what else she would have had to endure these last five years if she had not gone from this earth...
Granted she should have never left the way she had, but she still made it to heaven.

Anonymous said...

Well I can honestly say that I do not remember saying that "mommy told me to say it". But looking back... we always stood by her, no matter what! So for all of that, I do apologize. Not that I'm afraid of the so called "slander", but for bringing up things that just need to be left alone. I was hurt and angry that something like this could happen to an innocent little girl... a girl who did not deserve that unhuman demise. I was also shocked and a bit embarassed that we as a "family" were somewhere where we did not belong. Granted Penny is (was) her biological "mother", but in a true sense she was nothing more than a stranger.... we all were. If someone wanted to find her, she would have been found. PERIOD.
But as for everything else... I didn't even get started about Tina. Nor will I because I'm trying to be calm, and do not feel like getting worked up. I have not talked to ANY of my "family" for 2.5 years, nor will I because they are all dead to me. PERIOD.
So again, I apologize. I'm not expecting one back, but I do feel like we do owe one to Mariah b/c this was about her, not us.
So Merry x-mas, Happy new year
and I'll leave it at that!

Anonymous said...

Well Kelsey is still in trouble. I know this family & not alot has changed. They still do drugs, even in front of the children, & have recently lost their home & were evicted yet again. Her mother has had her do pee tests for her for jobs, etc. Her mother let her go live with someone else for over a month not really checking on her or talking to the family to see how she was doing. When things were not going her way she came & took her, with Kelsey screaming that she didn't want to go. Penny is still with the same drug head guy, Scott & still not working! The whole time her children have been gone this last month (her younger son is with "Uncle" Ricky (who just got out if jail for drugs) she has collected welfare benefits but not given any money to the families who have her children. She has no home but still can afford to do her drugs. We will help Kelsey & her brother! Something will happen!!!

kelsey lynn keigley said...

my name is kelsey keigley i am mariahs little sister first i would like to say u ppl need to grow the fuck up! this blog is on here to rememer my older sister and the life my father took from here the fact that u ppl are coming on here making up things makes me sick! the fact that my uncle went to jail is no ones business but his! if u think that my me and my brother are in danger put ur big boy/girl pants on and make a police report! and at the end of the day u will she that we are still with my mother no one is fucking perfict so grow up! my mother and myself were looking for mariah we never stoped the day the cop came to my door killed me! i have to go everyday missing my sister and heart broken that i didnt get a chance to see her or get to know her! u ppl need to grow up and stop making up stories about my family!

Rhonda said...

Kelsey, I'm not sure what your mom has told you, but she got pregnant for you when my brother was in jail. You have our last name because they were married when you were born and he didn't contest it. I'm not trying to be harsh, but you need to ask your mom about that. She knew where to look for Mariah because most of my family lives in the same town even now. It makes me sad that she has been feeding you lies for all these years. She gave Mariah away; no one took her. And for all the people who say Penny and David had no parental rights to Mariah, my nephew was taken away after Mariah was born and she was not. He was born prematurely and I was there on a daily basis. He was being fed and taken care of. I never saw my brother neglect any baby, or hurt anyone. No one in my family saw any of the things that supposedly happened, to my knowledge. As for Mariah, she had to contend with so much in her short life, from many people. She was optimistic, smiling, and a joy to be around. I miss her and think of her every single day. I see her in all my children, especially my six-year-old daughter who was born three weeks to the day before Mariah died. I think Mariah is her guardian angel and feel comfort knowing she is watching over her. I feel she is in a better place and was too good for this world.

kelsey lynn keigley said...

i know who my father is and i thank god it is not david! not to be a bitch or anything i heard he did love me as his own at somepoint. i just want to know if mariah even knew me at all! or if my other half-brother know me. idc what my mother says i go off facts that i have learned on my own! i did try looking for mariah and came up with nothing. you guys had time with her i did not! and i hear so many stories about her things that i will never get the chance to learn because some sick twisted asshole took her life and the life of the child living inside of her! how on earth did u not see that my sister was pregnet! i love her to this day and hope to god i get to meet her in heaven! i have nothing to remeber her by not a thing! do u know how hard that is?? everyone has some memory of her i got nothing only pitcures that i got off websites! and i will be visting david as soon as i turn 18(in 2 months) and tekk him to his face what a pice of shit he is! he was her father!!!!!!! and for that bitch he was with i hope she goes to hell she could have said something and my sister could be alive now!

Anonymous said...

Are you graduating this year Kelsey??

Anonymous said...

On December 3, 2011 you will be 18 Miss Kelsey. In the LAWS eyes you will be an ADULT, do you really know what that entails???
1. To be treated as an adult you have to act like one.
2. You are responsible for you (and your actions).
Remember this and you shall have a prosperous life.
Girl, when I turned 18 I RAN LIKE HELL to get out of my family home, and I have NEVER regretted it. I graduated from high school AND college, have a wonderful husband and home, a job I look forward to each and every day. And you know what??? I achieved that ALL ON MY OWN--- so don't you EVER believe ANYONE who says you can't do the same. If you believe in yourself... honey there isn't nothing that could hold you back!!!
You know what I heared when I read your last 2 messages on here?? I heared someone that is scared, lonely, bitter, and ashamed. Would you believe me if I told you I used to feel the same way?? Ooohh Yeahh.... so I also understand why you defend your family (even if they do not deserve as much). They are all you have. PERIOD. I know, I've been there before too. But you wanna know something?? You are the CHILD of these so called adults, and it is time for them to finally be the adults they should have been for YOUR 18 years of life. They should own up to their past (and present) mistakes, admit they are wrong, AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And if they can't.... and mine couldn't (and still does not).... you DISOWN THEM. If you do not you will be sucked into it all, and never find a way out. I achieved everything I have because (and I am going to repeat myself here) I did what was right for ME and ran like hell, and never looked back. I knew even at 17 going on 18 that my parent could not and would not change (and I was right), so I got the hell outta there. Maybe your parent could be different from mine, but for you to find out... you need to find yourself first. Think about it like this ok??? You will be turning 18 in a few weeks right?? So for the past 8 years while you've been living with ur mom has she did what was right for YOU or HERSELF??? From what I know and have read on here... I'd say herself (but that is my opinion). Do not get angry, but a fact is a fact. My parent was the same way. The word for it is SELFISH.
Now I have given you some good advice... the question is ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE IT????

Anonymous said...

Also, since you are so bitter about something you had no control over (the death of your older sister), why do you not do SOMETHING about it?? From the comments I read on here it is obvious to me that Mariah had/has good friends/family who obviously miss her too. I'd take that knowledge and REACH OUT to those people who knew her and LEARN ABOUT HER. FIND OUT WHO SHE WAS. This will be the only way for you to HEAL. I'd make up a special email and post it's address on here to invite the people who knew her to talk to me(you). Exchange numbers, addresses, pictures (you two look so much alike). Take their memories and make them your own. I would also stop being so bitter to Mariah's family... it's been over 6 years since the crime occured. I'm sure they have beat themselves up enough. Plus they LIVE where Mariah is buried, so they have to relive that moment (that human error on there part) EVERYDAY. Could you live with yourself if you were in their shoes?? They do not need to be harrassed anymore, but you need to reach out to them--- THEY will tell you the truth, and in the process set you free from a burden you should have never been put through.
You are going to be an adult Kelsey, and this is what a RESPONSIBLE adult would do.
I hope you find the peace you so desperately need, and a bright future that only you can achieve.
You could still love your mom (from a distance), but you need to think of you now. She had her chance to make things right and chose not too. This is called TOUGH LOVE. It may hurt for a while, but in the end she will have to make a choice and I hope to god she chooses you and over time that hurt will fade.
My parent NEVER chose me, but I chose myself and won.
Love you

Anonymous said...

They say that life is fleetingI know that this is trueI left this world so quicklyWith no goodbye to you.I know how much you miss meYour tears fall ever lightThe pillow where you lay your headIs wet with them at night.I know your heart is hurtingThe words we left, unsaidI love you's left unspokenAre spinning in your head.The strength that I have carriedThat served to make you wholeRemains to make you strongerWithin your grieving soul.For you see, while you were weepingOn the day I passed awayAt the gravesite near the flowersWhere my loved ones knelt to pray.An angel came to see meShe took me by the handShe led me to a kingdomIn a very distant land.As I look down from the heavenAnd see you standing thereYour heart so ever burdenedWith more weight than it can bear.I long to bring you comfortI long to give you peaceI long to hold you closelyCause all your tears to cease.The joy I've found in heavenGoes far beyond compareThe love that's so elusiveCan be found here everywhere.The light is softly shiningThere's no storm clouds here or rainThere's no teardrops found in heavenThere's no suffering, there's no pain.You needn't be so troubledStay close to God and prayThat someday we'll be togetherOne bright and glorious day.So my love, you shouldn't questionMy dear you need not cryI've gone to be with JesusI really didn't die.

Anonymous said...

Oh and one more thing.... When I was planning out my escape the first things I grabbed were my social security card and birth certificate. If you do not already have this Kelsey I would make sure that you do. These are YOURS to have and are important!! If you can not get them than I would call the cops.

kelsey keigley said...

im looking for my family please i want to know you so please find me on face book my Kelsey Keigley from Ohio idk how else you can find me or email me at please