DESTINY COX WAS MURDERED BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, DAVID GHARRETT, AFTER YEARS OF ABUSING HER – CCA0100 – UPDATED 11.09.2013

DESTINY COX WAS MURDERED BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, DAVID GHARRATT, AFTER YEARS OF ABUSING HER

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WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS PHOTOS OF DESTINY’S BODY

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Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox was only 3 years old when her life was stolen.  This beautiful little girl’s nightmare began when her mother, Candis Ethridge, started dating David Gharrett.  It did not take long for Destiny and Ethridge to move in with Gharrett in 2009, and took even less time for Gharrett to begin abusing Destiny.  The abuse Gharrett heaped on Destiny continually escalated, and on April 28, 2011, Destiny’s little body could take no more and shut down.  Gharrett had given her the fatal beating while he was ‘babysitting’ this angel.

The story Gharrett gave for what happened to Destiny, states that the little girl choked while vomiting after eating hot peppers and then stopped breathing.

Destiny Cox's Body

Destiny Cox’s Body

When Destiny was brought to the hospital, her extensive injuries included bruising on her chest and abdomen, the right side of the back of her head, her back, elbow, upper arms and left thigh.  Medical examiners determined that Destiny died from head trauma, not the choking Gharrett claims happened.

As Gharrett was questioned, his story continued to change.  At one point he even told investigators that he had lied about what caused Destiny’s injuries, because he was worried Ethridge would be mad at him.

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

Gharrett then stated that Destiny had vomited into her hands and on her clothes before losing consciousness.  Gharrett then stated that he attempted to give Destiny CPR, but ‘it didn’t work’.  After this alleged attempt, Gharrett says he was unable to find his cellphone, so he took Destiny and her 1 year old half brother outside to ask neighbors for help.  Gharrett would later tell investigators that while attempting to perform CPR on Destiny, he tasted the hot peppers which led him to believe that she vomited due to eating them.  Gharrett was asked if Destiny had ever eaten the jalapeno peppers before, and he responded that she had not.  Ethridge had a very different answer to the same question.  She stated that Gharrett would punish Destiny by making her eat the peppers.

David Gharrett

David Gharrett

Gharrett’s stories only continued to change as the days passed.  Three days after Destiny was murder, investigators confronted Gharrett with the medical evidence which clearly stated that Destiny died from a brain injury, not by choking on something.  The brain injury was so severe that the little girl would have lost consciousness in about a minute after the trauma, it was as severe as if she had been in a car accident.  Confronted with the evidence, Gharrett went into yet ANOTHER story.

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

He then stated that he had dropped Destiny in the tub in the bathroom after taking her to clean her up after she vomited on herself.  Gharrett gave no description of how he had actually dropped Destiny, and had no explanation of how other multiple injuries, including internal bleeding, could have occurred.  Instead he offered the statement “I did not hit that little girl.”

Destiny’s father, David Cox, was actually incarcerated on drug charges while the abuse of his daughter was occurring.  On the final day of Destiny’s life, Cox was released from prison after the state attorney reduced his bond to a personal recognizance bond in light of the circumstances.

David Cox

David Cox

Cox was able to be at his daughter’s side before she passed away.  After his baby girl was murdered, Cox shared the changes he had begun to notice after Gharrett came in to the picture.  He stated that Ethridge began to deny him phone calls and visitation with Destiny.  In the few times he was able to see his daughter, Cox noticed she had bruises and scrapes, and on one occasion, she had a foot fracture.

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

All of these things happened when Destiny was about a year old.  Cox states that he never received an explanation for his daughter’s injuries when he questioned Ethridge about them, and claims that he began to have a “bad feeling” about what may be happening to little Destiny.  After medical staff had told Cox that Destiny was brain dead, and there was nothing that could be done to help her, life support was removed.  When Cox was allowed in the room after Destiny had quietly slipped away, he crawled into the hospital bed with his baby girl, sobbing as he held her tight.

David Gharrett and Candis Elthbridge

David Gharrett and Candis Elthbridge

He asked the doctors to open Destiny’s eyes one last time so that he could see her.  Cox was not allowed in the room as life support was removed, as Ethridge and Gharrett were in there with Destiny.  “That really killed me,” says Cox.  Gharrett not only murdered Destiny, he stood in the hospital room and watched her die, then he planned and attended her funeral.  Even in death Destiny was abused and mistreated by this monster.  He couldn’t even allow her to be laid to rest without her murderer standing over her coffin.

Destiny Cox's Body

Destiny Cox’s Body

Take one guess who else was involved in Destiny’s abuse.  If you guessed DCF, then you are right!  The DCF had been notified at least twice of Destiny’s abuse and neglect prior to her death, yet failed to act upon these reports and ensure Destiny’s safety.  In fact, Destiny’s aunt, Elizabeth Cox Nelson, alleges she called the Illinois DCF FIFTEEN TIMES to report Destiny’s abuse.

David Gharrett

David Gharrett

Elizabeth was persistent and was fighting for her niece.  You would think DCF would have done something for Destiny.  Instead, they threatened to charge Elizabeth with harassment if she continued to call.  Since Destiny’s death, more people close to the family began to come forward with the incidents of abuse they had personally witnessed.  This completely disgusts and infuriates me.

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

WHY DID THEY NOT COME FORWARD BEFORE DESTINY WAS MURDERED?!??  How can any decent human being KNOW that a child is suffering from abuse and neglect and never bother to do anything to help that child?  If they had only come forward, maybe more attention would have been paid to the previous reports and attempts to get help for Destiny by her aunt.

David Cox

David Cox

I will say this loud and clear as I have before – THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE CHARGED.  They allowed Destiny to die a horrific death, and no excuse will ever be good enough for that.

Candis Ethridge pleaded guilty to child endangerment and was placed on 24 months of probation after agreeing to testify at Gharrett’s trial.  She didn’t even receive a slap on the wrist.

Destiny Cox

Destiny Cox

Ethridge was well aware of all the abuse Destiny was suffering through, and she never made an effort to help her daughter.  In my eyes, Ethridge needs to be charged with murder as well.

Gharrett was found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to 76 years in prison.  After the sentence was imposed, David Cox waved goodbye to Gharret and said, “Don’t drop your soap,”. The comment (which has earned my applause), showed the terrible temper with which Garrett killed Destiny.  Gharrett became highly agitated and started shouting.  Even after he had been escorted out of the courtroom by deputies, he could be heard screaming and repeatedly banging the walls of a holding cell adjacent to the courtroom.

David Gharrett

David Gharrett

Nothing will ever be equal to Destiny’s death.  There is no justice that we can achieve.  However, given the limitations our courts have put on truly punishing those who victimize children, 76 years isn’t a bad start, especially if he doesn’t take Cox’s advice.  Destiny was a beautiful, bright little girl that touched the hearts of many.  While her physical body may no longer be with us, her soul remains in the hearts of those that love and cherish her.  It is the one thing that Gharrett could not steal from this baby girl – her soul, and the memories she left others with.  Destiny will live on, sitting on the shoulders of other children in need, and this is how I choose to remember her.

Destiny Cox - Heaven to Home

LTWH CCA GRAPHIC

CCA0100

ANGELVERSARY 04.28.2011

BIRTHDAY 01.23.2008

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~ by LTWH on November 9, 2013.

7 Responses to “DESTINY COX WAS MURDERED BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, DAVID GHARRETT, AFTER YEARS OF ABUSING HER – CCA0100 – UPDATED 11.09.2013”

  1. Why are these people allowed to have children. Do you not know that a child is a gift. The mother of this little angel should have gone to prision to she did not protect this little girl. She chose to be a women rather than a mother. May god have mercy on her soul and as for the murderer may god have mercy on your soul and this little angel that her life was stolen from her she is in the kingdom of heaven playing and laughing and at peace what she did not have when she was living.

  2. I agree with yasmine it was her duty as a mother to protect her child, I was in a verbally abusive & physical aggressive relationship with my daughter’s dad(smash things around the house), I call CAS got them on my side, gain sole custody and a restraining order against her father, he doesn’t have access at all. these mother’s that let horrific things happen to their children, should receive the same charge as the attackers of these sweet angels. it just goes to show you what was in the mother’s best interest(what was in her boyfriends pants)

  3. The law is not working, CPS fails at an alarming rate, mothers watch their child slowly and painfully lose their life and do nothing. Criminals like her belong in jail too for the pure torture they put their own child through. It’s tragic that the child suffered physically, emotionally, and psychologically all alone with her mother right there knowing. If the punishment fit the crime we may be able to eradicate this disease.

  4. Destiny is my neice she is my brothers daughter. The sick ass that did this dont deserve to breath real air should b given gas I hate him for taking her from our family and the hell he has caused us along with sleepless nights and the worst pain my brother Davey Cox feels everyday of his life its sick

  5. This story should be shared and do i think David Gerttet got enough time in prison no but it is a start this was my family this breaks my heart every single time i read this i went everyday to the trail do i think the mother should of been punished as well yes i do no man can brain wash u to watch ur child be abused every single day and there isnt a drug in this world that could let her watch her be beat she is just as guilty as him but they both will have to answer to God !!!! I love u Destiny rest in peace sweetie angle !!!

  6. It should be eye for eye !!! They both should go through the same thing that baby went through.

  7. What’s sad is that she has at least one other kid. Why do these people think they need another one? There’s no way she didn’t know what was going on. She should be locked up too instead of going on with her life and making babies. And I’m sure she she’s still dating loserd

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