2-year-old Caden Rodgers is dead. Like so many children featured on this site, Caden was a victim of his mother’s boyfriend’s rage. The only difference between Caden and the others; Caden wasn’t murdered for crying or wetting his pants. He was murdered because he didn’t want to “wrestle” any more.
30-year-old Theodore Madrid told police that he was high on pot and drunk on January 5th – the day that little Caden was injured. He claims that he was wrestling with the toddler and became frustrated when Caden didn’t want to wrestle any more. Instead of changing the game, like any reasonable human would do, the mental midget threw the tot across the room, likely slamming his head into the bed frame.
Caden laid on the floor, lifeless and bleeding, for 2 hours before his mother, 26-year-old Ashley Rodgers, came home. She was the one with enough sense to dial 911 (shortly after midnight). You didn’t expect Cro-Magnon man to do it, did you? Of course not… He didn’t want to get into trouble – DUH.
When police arrived at the apartment, Caden was lying on the floor with blood coming from the back of his head, swollen bruises on his forehead, a small cut on his lip and blood in his mouth. In the room with the boy the found a bloody rag and a metal bed frame with blood on it. Ashley told the officers that Madrid was watching her baby boy while she worked and that he had hit his head and wouldn’t wake up. Madrid’s initial story was that he “body slammed” Caden onto the bed, but I guess he realized that the cops weren’t stupid enough to buy that shit, so he came eventually came clean.
Little Caden was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries the following evening. His organs have been donated to those in need of transplants. The tragic event of Caden’s untimely death brought hope to some. Thank you, Ashley, for that.
Madrid, who police found to wreak of alcohol, was taken into custody. Madrid claimed that he took a couple of shots and drank some beer the previous day, but a breathalyzer test showed otherwise. Madrid’s BAC was .177 – over double the legal limit.
Madrid is being charged with first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse and is being held without bond.
On a lighter note, Southwest Airlines has a pilot with a huge heart. With all of the hoopla about TSA and airport / airline drama, it’s nice to see that one airline worker will take a proactive stance to help a desparate passenger.
Caden’s (step)grandfather, Mark Dickinson, was on a business trip in Los Angeles when he got the call that little Caden would be removed from life-support that night. Desperate to get to his bedside to say goodbye, Dickinson booked a flight to Tucson with a connecting flight to Denver.
Arriving at LAX 2 hours early wasn’t enough time to check his bag and get through the TSA screening line. I’ve been there… The TSA line alone takes a least 2 hours. Dickinson let the TSA employees know the situation he was facing – missing the chance to say goodbye to his grandson would be even more heartbreaking on top of the heartache he already felt. TSA assholes, doing their job (of course), didn’t offer Mr. Dickinson any help to assure him making his flight. Dickinson, in an effort to make haste, grabbed his computer, belt and shoes as soon as they came through screening and ran shoeless for his gate. At the gate he was met by the (saint) pilot and the ticketing agent who advised him that they held the plane for him and offered their condolences on the loss of his precious grandson.
Mark’s wife, Nancy, wrote into AOL’s Travel blogger about the amazing effort on the part of the SWA pilot. She says that she didn’t know how he got the word about Mark’s plight, but they were both grateful that he did. Mark was able to say his goodbyes and be there for his wife and step-daughter when little Caden took his final breaths.
Rest in peace, baby Caden.
Thanks go to Annette, Tara, Moira, Jeanine, and Dee for this tip. And an EXTRA special thanks to the unnamed SWA pilot who is a hero in my eyes.
*** Corrections posted by Nancy Marine Dickinson in the comments section:
Nancy Marine Dickinson wrote:
Okay – let’s see where to start…
A. I am the (step) grandmother. Mark is the grandfather. Ashley is my (step) daughter. Mark is her father.
B. I didn’t write into the AOL Travel Blogger. I wrote to Chris Elliott of www.elliott.org
. Everyone else lifted the story and presented it as their own (even making a few changes along the way – but as a journalist myself, yeah, I can see where reading comprehension shouldn’t factor into any form of journalism)
C. Mark wasn’t there for his wife. His wife, me, had to stay in Arizona because his ex-wife declared I wasn’t allowed to be there. If you’d like to get in touch with aforementioned ex wife – her name is Kay xxxxxxxxxx – she lives in xxxxx. She works at a xxxxxxx in xxxxx.
D. “…lifeless and bleeding…” Nope. He was unconscious, the bleeding had stopped but restarted when the EMTs started working on him, he wasn’t lifeless but non-responsive, possibly comatose due to brain swelling because Ass-hat Madrid did nothing to help him. He idled the two hours waiting for mom to come home so he could attempt to clean up the scene.
E. Mark didn’t book a flight to Tucson for a connecting flight to Denver. His company changed his flight for him to come BACK to Tucson. He works for a govt. contractor and he HAD to come back to Tucson to finish the trip. I arranged his flight from Tucson to Denver to coincide with his landing in Tucson. It wasn’t a layover. Any other time it would have been, “Mark’s home!”
F. His BAC was checked HOURS after this happened. Imagine what it was when it happened? .20? Maybe? Definitely intoxicated.
G. What I wrote to Chris is at his site:
H. The police report’s online:
I. Thanks for not being too hard on Ashley. She’s one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving people you’ll ever meet. She’s devastated by all this and will never be the same. None of us will.
I. Sorry to point this out but, it’s “desperate”, not “desparate”. I’m a writer. I can’t help it.