LocalSYR

Family fights parole for man convicted in infant's death

The story of a nine-week-old baby boy left alone for hours, overheated and hungry, shocked neighbors in the Baldwinsville area eight years ago. Fast forward to today and the boy's father is up for parole.
Baldwinsville (WSYR-TV) -- Quan Nguyen Jr. was nine-months old when his body was discovered in his Baldwinsville home on a hot summer day back in 2004. At the time, police told reporters he'd been left unchecked in a hot room for several hours, wrapped in a blanket, with no open windows and no air conditioning. Investigators believe baby Quan was overheated and hungry when he died. The next day, his parents, Jade and Quan Nguyan, Sr., disappeared with his sister, also named Jade. Police described them as a controlling husband with a submissive wife.

After a 14 month search, a tip led police to California, where police tracked down the family. Young Jade Nguyan was weak, but healthy enough to survive. Her mother was taken to a hospital.

"They found my niece laying in a hotel bed, laying in her own feces...she only weighed 62 pounds when they found her, wearing a baby pull-up...Her organs were already shutting down and she also passed away after being starved by him," said Stephanie Disbennett.

Disbennett adopted her niece’s surviving daughter when Quan Nguyen, Sr., was convicted of manslaughter for his son’s death. Friday morning, she told a parole board that Jade is still traumatized.

"When we first met little Jade, she didn't know how to speak...She would put her head down and her hands under the table and literally shake because she was so scared. She was waiting for permission to be able to eat and to get food from the table,” Disbennett said.

The story touched Louann Herman, a stranger at the time who made it a personal mission to remember Quan, Jr., and punish his father who could be eligible for parole in April.

"It's horrible to think that if he comes out on parole, he could do this again. He could injure children, he could manipulate women and he's a monster. He deserves to be in prison. He's where he belongs and that is where he should stay,” Herman said.

Thanks in part to Herman’s donation, a proper headstone now marks baby Quan’s grave. His surviving sister is learning how to live with fear.

“She is just petrified. She is so afraid he is going to come and try to take her and not let her eat again. I mean, she has got a lot of anxiety and it's bad,” said Disbennett said.

The parole board heard victim impact statements on Friday. They meet with Quan Nguyen next month. If he’s granted release in April, he’d be under supervision for the next five years.
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