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All in the family
Written by Rebecca   
Friday, 05 January 2007 11:46

By now most of the country knows the story of missing two year old Trenton Duckett. The Leesburg, Florida toddler was reported missing from his bedroom on August 27th of last year by his mother Melinda.[1] Since that Sunday night Melinda reportedly used her Grandfathers shotgun to kill herself on September 8th.[2] Trenton's father Joshua has appeared on numerous television shows pleading for donations as much as Trenton's return.[3]

Melindas parents Beth and Jerry Eubank have filed a lawsuit against Nancy Grace and CNN for continually airing the interview they say drove a distraught Melinda to the closet in her Grandparents home with the gun. In the suit they also are asking for an audit of all donations Joshua has collected.[4]

Considering the amount of the reward fund after four months, this audit could clear up lots of public questions. Did the donations pay personal bills, buy engagement rings, carriage rides in Central Park,[5] and a new Escalade?[6] Did Joshua misrepresent to the public why the reward has stayed at 21 thousand dollars?[7] Six of which came from the Grandparents church, 5 from FDLE/Crimeline,[8] 5 from Sinfully Sweet, two from Nancy Grace[9] that leaves three thousand from the public. Something doesnt add up, is that all the public has donated? An audit will answer that question and many others. The amount seems amazingly low considering if half of all crime bloggers and true crime forum posters donated one dollar each the amount would add up to well over 100 thousand dollars. The public has a right to know how its donations are being spent.[10]

The lawsuit should bring a clearer picture of the funds collected and all the purchases made. IF there is any impropriority on Josh's part then the court should handle that matter. The person that signed the checks will also be held accountable. That would be Laurie Konnerth according to her post on a Court TV message board asking for more funds.[11] If she was duped then as an adult she should have known better, as a family friend she should have known better. If she had no experience in this kind of accounting she should have found some one to help her. In the end she will be the one speaking in court. Her records should be above reproach in this matter.

The next players in Trenton's drama would be Josh's parents Carla Massero and death row inmate James A Duckett.[12] One cannot be held responsible for their own gene pool, but Josh's has lots of contamination, if only by association of his parents.

The story of Carla Roberts and James Duckett started in high school, it ended with James sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young girl.[13] He is also a suspect in two unsolved murders. Carla played a part in that particular drama also, having testified in court about James whereabouts and a lime green bag with a stuffed animal inside.[14] Why would a loving wife volunteer such information? Why was she never charged with tampering with evidence?

Is James guilty or was he set up? Dont ask 30 local cops you will get a split vote. Even former Miami cop Marshall Frank weighed in with an opinion.[15] That changed quickly because James had a look in his eyes.[16] This makes little sense. Either he is or he isnt . By now his appeals are over and his sentence of death will stand. Will the state of Florida kill an innocent man?

Carla is not above reproach in her life either. This is a woman three times unlucky at marriage, had her business burnt by an arsonist, her daughter in law dead and her grandson missing. How much misfortune can one person bring into their life? James was convicted of murder but it also came out in court that he cheated on her. [17] That does something to a persons ego. Then she marries Brian Boggs who by court records wasn't a great provider . A lawsuit filed by Ford Motor Company and an eviction lead one to see that this was not a fincancially secure marriage. It ended in divorce.[18]

Then Carla marries Kevin Massero, a drug user.[19] One with a record. According to DCF records Kevin was at first the person trusted to pick up and return Trenton for Josh's visits. That was stopped due to Kevins drug use.[20] Hes been in jail and ordered to rehab for his addictions.

Now Carla has a new boyfriend. How does he fit into this drama? What does he know and will he ever be able to tell it?

Of course to include the whole family in Trenton's life one must also mention Melindas own drama filled existence. We got a glimpse into that with her Nancy Grace interview. Melinda kept saying she wasn't giving out details as Nancy curled her fist and pounded on a desk asking the same questions over and over again.[21]

Melinda left the impression with many of a woman with a secret.

After her reported suicide we were cluded into one or two of those secrets. First the porn was released that caused many to stop and decide right then and there Melinda had guilt written on her face.[22] Guilt of what we have no idea. Then the rumor of a theft at the bank she worked at,[23] oh the woman was becoming a prime target for not only law enforcement but the public too. The open free flowing hatred of a young mother who tried for two years to keep custody of her son was running rampant and still is today. She has been called a monster and a murderer (even though no evidence suggest that).[24] Does the public know any of this to be true? No but why let a tiny detail like the truth stand in the way of making Melinda the perp and Joshua the good guy. The truth in the end of this drama might surprise even the hardest of hearts.

Some people will never accept that Melinda probably had nothing to do with Trenton's disappearance. They will never acknowledge the fact that the Trenton Duckett Trust Fund was a scam. They will never admit they were wrong about the adults in Trenton's life. Melinda will be forever a monster, Joshua will never be anything but the good daddy. Carla will be the unsuspecting doting Nana. Jerry and Beth Eubank will be remembered for filing a lawsuit instead of looking for Trenton. Nancy and Bill Eubank will be the unaware Grandparents forever believing in Melinda.

In short all the makings of a made for TV movie. In all this drama Trenton is lost again. The drama has been played out for the public to watch with Nancy Grace as the moderator. Its a shame that what started out like any other little life has become fodder for the gossips and rumor mills in four short months. When Trenton is older and is confronted by all that has been written about his family members, he will be faced with many of the same questions we have that no one will or can answer.

Maybe the best thing would be for Trenton would be to move from Florida and change his name. This will give him the chance for a better life a more adjusted life than the one his family has offered him considering their pasts. That would be my prayer for Trenton a happy normal life away from all the drama that hes known in two short years.

Related documents:
Crime map
911 Calls, DCF, Legal, Graph, and Myspace

James Duckett:
Duckett v State. Initial Brief. June 2002
Duckett v State. Habeas Corpus. June 2002
Duckett v State. Appeal. October 2002
Duckett v State. Reply. December 2002


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