Savannah. It is of Spanish origin, and its meaning is “treeless plain” from Spanish sabana. Where will you find rest, dear one?
His precious last breath of air.
“They can just hang him.”
“Let him rot in a cell somewhere.”
“Life in prison is too good for him.”
I can’t post the rest of what was said online about this creature.
What I am about to say isn’t pretty. It isn’t nice and it is definitely not pleasant. Brace yourself and endure.
Those comments in italics above are just some of the comments on social media by strangers and people of society and those in his community and neighborhood when they realized “Geo” was mentally ill and in a psychotic attempt to supposedly remove a microchip buried inside his daughter, he brutally murdered the two year old baby with a hammer in her bedroom Tuesday morning, February 19th, 2019. Read about the monster here.
“This is the worst case I’ve ever seen.” said Detective Robert Enmon of the Orange police department. It affected so many police officers, first aid responders and people in this city. This is all such a tragedy.
Take that in for a moment.
Please. Below is a picture of this sick individual.
It is hard to wrap one’s mind around this atrocity. In no way, am I about to condone this maniac’s actions. He is guilty and there should be severe consequences. In light of this innocent two year old baby girl’s nightmarish death I would like to turn the spotlight on us as a society, a community and as a human. Were we morally obligated to somehow save her, help her or help him get mental help beforehand?
Deciding what (if anything) counts as “morally obligatory” is a principal concern of ethics. Responsibility is accompanied by three essential elements:
1) Norms that determine accountability,
2) freedom or free will to act as a rational agent, and
3) results that can be either praiseworthy or blameworthy. Was anyone else besides the father blameworthy? Were we as a community part of the problem? Those are difficult questions and ones that we may even be quick to shun, however, they must be asked.
Responsibility with respect to these three elements is essential to being human.
Yovahnis “Geo” Roque age 26 is charged with capital murder in the killing of this innocent child, Savannah. He could face the death penalty or life in prison. Neighbors merely doors down from him couldn’t explain why he snapped. No one can understand the tragedy and blame is thrown around just to try to make sense of everything.
Did we as a community reach out or offer aid? The mother of the baby girl died in 2016. Did we bring food? Did we offer to help with the infant at any time? Did we ever as a community challenge him to go to church and attend services and bring his daughter to Sunday school? Did we as a city show him there was a better way to live and raise his child?
“Well no, of course not.
He didn’t live here back then. He was in another state when the mother of his child died.
He didn’t grow up here.
He is a stranger.
I didn’t know him.
He should have known better.” and on and on and on the comments go……
Of course. You’re right. We didn’t reach out. We didn’t know him. He did know right from wrong. Our ‘no’ is quickly enveloped with the soothing excuse that eases our minds and allows us to fall back into a lax slumber as we pull our Comforter back up around our shoulders and snuggle under the heavy cloak of security and denial. “Well, my babies are safe. I’d never do that.” This murder should have never occurred.
Proverbs 6:9 (KJV)
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
We as a community are trying to make sense of this senseless nightmare before closing our eyes and returning to our routines, schedules and obligations. Then we will just go back to ignoring the hurt and devastation that is going on daily along all the avenues all around us.
It sounds harsh but it is truth. History proves that time and time again. The shock and horror wear off and we go back to ‘normal’. Remember 9/11? The emotions and rage we felt so long ago has faded a bit. We have healed some in the years gone by. We will heal again. We will continue on with life. That fact is sad.
This murder happened two blocks from the church I attend. This murdered happened almost in the shadow of the church’s steeple. This child for the last year or so lived less than five minutes from my best friends’ home where I go multiple times a week. We as a church should have known this family. I should have had interaction with this family at least once this last year…but I didn’t.
I should have at least one recollection and memory of kneeling down and peering into those dark eyes of this innocent girl as I introduced myself and invited her to Sunday school just a few blocks up from her house.
I need to let that sink in.
I should have, within the last year, at least once knocked on that house’s door and asked if I could pray with them about any situation. I dropped the ball.
But I didn’t. I didn’t know him. You didn’t know them.
It wasn’t THIS community’s fault this monster murdered his daughter. It wasn’t our fault.
We didn’t know him or what he was capable of. We do know someone. We do live next door to someone…and if you are a saint in a church somewhere then you do have an obligation to reach the lost and the hurting in this twisted, dying world.
Let me talk to religious folks, spiritual church goers for a sec. We cannot keep the Prince of Peace to ourselves. We are to be witnesses! We are to go forth and deliver the gospel of the Good News.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV)
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,
This criminal had mental illnesses…he was insane and unstable.
- Did we start a church program to help those less fortunate in our community?
- Did we open our community centers, shelters or buildings to aid those less fortunate?
- Do we have a MOPS group?
- Do we volunteer to be CASA volunteers working with foster children?
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.
This criminal was most likely on drugs.
- Did we as a city, community or church have AA, NA, or any Celebrate Recovery?
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind.
Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life.
- Are we teaching our kids to the best of our ability about the side effects of drugs and other addictions?
The ball has been dropped somewhere along the way.
This criminal’s social media presence was frightening and disturbing.
It took everything I had to listen to a part of his songs posted. My heart almost beat out of my chest.
It’s unclear if he was a musician or singer but one of the most recent songs he posted on social media was titled, “My Demons”.
A few lines of the lyrics is shared below.
We all have our demons but mine are the meanest.
They won’t let me get too close to the ones I need the most.
They are angry and violent.
So you better run away before my demons come to play.
Let me address the church folk again right here.
If we say we are followers of Jesus Christ then what in the world are we doing here playing life safe?
Why aren’t we reaching out to our communities and trying to help them? WHY!
Mark 1:39 (KJV)
And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Matthew 12:28 (KJV)
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Mark 16:17 (KJV)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Matthew 8:16 (KJV)
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
How do we know if outreach will work or not if we don’t try?
Sometimes I believe we PLAN and ORGANIZE the life right out of our churches.
We sit in meeting after meeting, gathering after gathering and lunch after lunch and fail to connect with the hurting souls all around us.
Casting Crowns lyrics say it better than I ever can:
Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in,
To ride in and save the day
I’m trying so hard to show you Readers my heart. Can you feel the pain? Can you understand what I am trying to say? We’ve dropped the ball. This senseless tragedy is a nightmare. It makes no sense. It should have never happened. Not on our watch. Not ever. NO! No more! My heart hurts so bad. I don’t want to believe this story is real but it is.
There is so much that will be uncovered. So many more details that will come to light. There will be an organized vigil to help the community try to make sense of it all but we won’t. We can’t make sense of the snuffing out of such a beautiful light. There is so much more I could write and say but my thoughts are all a jumbled mess. I don’t understand. I never will. I don’t think I ever want to understand.
Just hug your little ones tonight. Love them. Love your family. Love your neighbors in the best way you can show them. Somehow learn to be nice and let’s all try harder to come together in this fractured society. The ball was dropped somewhere along the way.
Can we try, for Savannah to offer rest and comfort and compassion in this treeless plain?
Rest in the arms of your merciful Creator, Savi.
I’m so so so sorry, sweet child. You deserved everything. God forgive us.