Current News

Josiah Shaw vigil: L-r, Paul Pratt holding sign with Josiah Shaw’s picture, Sylvia Squzert, Robert Squzert, Dwight Taylor, and Donna Shaw

Josiah Shaw vigil 2018

Contributed By:The 411 News

Toddler's murder remains a mystery, ten years later

Sunday, January 28, 2018 marked 10 years since the murder of 13-month-old Josiah Shaw.

Grandmother Donna Shaw, her sister Sylvia Squzert, brother Robert Squzert, along with family members and friends have returned to 21st and Virginia in Gary every year, on the anniversary, to hold a vigil in memory of that day.

Flyers they put into hands of passing pedestrians and motorists have a picture of Josiah and tell of a $5,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the killer.

With them every year is Dwight Taylor, head of the grass-roots Concerned Citizens Against Violence. He was on the loudspeaker again Sunday, telling Josiah’s story. On his car sound system, he alternated music with the 911 emergency call from 10 years ago.

The 911 dispatcher is heard saying, “She’s crying so hard, I can’t understand what she’s saying.” A young woman’s voice, sobbing, tells the dispatcher, “My friend has been shot. She’s laying on my lawn. Please help.”

“What’s your friend’s name?” the dispatcher asked, words that seem to calm the caller. “Kwana Shaw. She’s laying on my lawn,” the woman responded.

Kwana Shaw had visited her friend in the Lancaster Apartments on 21st and Virginia. She had placed Josiah in his car seat. As she got to the driver’s seat, a man approached, asked for her car keys and then shot her. The man drove away in the car.

After police arrived, Shaw’s car was found three blocks away in the 1800 block of Virginia. Josiah had been shot two times. He died later that night at Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus.

No one was ever charged in the crimes, but the toddler’s father Terry Bethel was taken into custody following Josiah’s death, held four days and released.

A civil case against Bethel and his brother Joe Noel, alleging the wrongful death of Josiah Shaw, was scheduled to begin March 21, 2016 in Lake Superior Court. Its records show that five days before the trial was set to start, the case had been closed and charges dismissed.

Donna Shaw said, “Lake County Prosecutor Bernie tells me there are suspects, but there is not enough evidence. He wants to have a good case before an arrest is made.”

Gary Police Chief Richard Allen attended Sunday’s vigil and made the request, “I ask if anyone has any info, no matter how small, please bring it to the Gary Police Department. Even though it’s been 10 years, it’s still fresh to us. And for the family, we want to be sure the person who did this is brought to justice.”

Josiah Shaw vigil: L-r, Paul Pratt holding sign with Josiah Shaw’s picture, Sylvia Squzert, Robert Squzert, Dwight Taylor, and Donna Shaw

L-r, Gary Police Chief Richard Allen and Dwight Taylor

Story Posted:01/30/2018

» Feature Stories

Add Comment

Name (Requierd)  
Comment (Required)  

View Comments