Once I started looking at how Carol Ann Cole ended up in a troubled teen home I kept running into contradictory information and I was unable to determine with any degree of certainty if the state of Texas did an intake through CPS or DHS because of a possible issue of neglect or abuse, or if Carol was surrendered to the state or if she might have run afoul of the law. Many states seal records on juveniles in the system, and something so far back is likely have been destroyed to protect the privacy of the teens aged out of the system.
What is known is confusing. What is clear is that Carol Ann’s mother Sue Cole told Crimewatch Daily that she’d put Carol Ann in drug rehab in Austin, Texas. She says that Carol Ann started hanging out with the wrong crowd, sneaking out of the house at all hours of the day and night and using drugs. She worried that Carol Ann was going to get into trouble, so she made the decision to try and stop the troubling behaviors before they became a life style for the teen.
Sue does not recall the name of the facility or many of the details of Carol Ann’s intake into the system and there are those that are critical of her lapses in memory. But you must keep in mind that 35 years is a long time, and like many other parents who’ve been victimized by the troubled teen industry she may be suffering from guilt and emotional trauma that makes it hard for her to recall the events.
One of the many places online where Carol Ann’s case has been discussed had this open letter to Sue posted that explains what Sue might be going through:
To Sue Cole, mother of Carol Ann Cole:
You’re not by yourself in this situation. You are not the only parent who was sold a bill of goods and deceived into sending your daughter away. There ARE other parents, THOUSANDS of them, who deal with the shame and regret every day of being fooled into feeding their child into the money machine that is the troubled teen industry. If you need help with sorting through all this, and understanding that there are many, many parents who have been put in your situation, my recommendation is to contact HEAL, where you will find a network of parents who found themselves in the same position you were placed in all those years ago, and have to live every day with the results of the same choice you yourself made. Again, you are not alone, Sue.
“Many institutions use coercive tactics to get clients in their doors. There are numerous accounts of parents being bullied and pressured into admitting their children into some programs where a simple phone call for information often results in same-day admittance. This is because some staff members at these for-profit facilities are eager to coerce parents into enrolling their kids and will do so by scaring them with tales of terror and even death.”
After Carol Ann was placed in a rehab facility she mailed letters to friends and family that came from a variety of places in Texas. Here’s a list of where she might have been held according to the return addresses on the letters.
- Peacock Village in San Antonio Texas. Peacock also maintained a girls home in Austin, unknown if she was a resident of either one. Looks like Peacock Village was part of the Salvation Army umbrella of facilities at that time.
- PDAP – Palmer Drug Abuse Program – Part of the Central Assemblies of God in Austin. Research shows that they did not have a residential facility at the time Carol Ann sent letters from PDAP. Nor did they have inpatient treatment in San Antonio in that time frame. Could she have been in foster care or another facility at night and at PDAP during the day?
- Brownwood Reception Center – Brownwood was part of the Texas Youth Commission services and was also known as Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correction Facility or the Brownwood State School for Girls. Most teens placed at Brownwood would have been placed there by the courts after they were convicted or accused of ‘delinquent behavior’ or in violation of a PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) order. Near Austin Texas and now closed amid allegations of physical and sexual abuse. A number of Texas Social Service agencies would also refer children to be placed at Brownwood. If Carol Ann was at Brownwood it is likely she would have been placed there after a run in with either law enforcement or with CPS.
There has also been speculation but no proof that Carol Ann Cole might have also been in a facility near Houston, in Harris County Texas. The facility likely would have been part of the Texas Dept. of Youth services, which is different than the Texas Youth Commission based out of Austin.
There is also no evidence that Carol Ann Cole was ever at a Roloff Home in Texas. The Roloff Homes were loosely affiliated with Mack Ford and New Bethany in Louisiana and might explain how Carol Ann ended up near New Bethany. Unfortunately there’s no real evidence to link her to Roloff Homes.
Carol Ann’s letters to family members from these facilities reveal that she had a boyfriend who had abused her and been using marijuana at the time that her mother placed her in a home. The letters are heart breaking tales of what she endured at the hands of a male companion before her placement.
This is where the trail runs cold. No one seems to know how Carol Ann ended up writing from so many different facilities or how she made her way from the last placement in Texas up to the Shreveport/Bossier City area of Louisiana. Sue Cole says that Carol Ann ran away from the teen home she was placed in. No one, not the facility or Sue Cole her mother reported Carol Ann as a runaway or missing person. But Carol Ann did turn up in Louisiana, calling her family in Michigan from Shreveport shortly before her disappearance and murder. Somehow she made her way from the Austin Texas area to Northern Louisiana. Did this happen because she was transferred to a home in Louisiana or did she run away to a strange city where she knew no one?
Next week we’re going to take a look at why girls can end up being switched from home to home, the history of abuse at these particular facilities and the difficulties getting away from these places along with examining the time line of events after Carol Ann arrived in Louisiana.
If anyone has any information on the murder of Carol Ann Cole or knows how Carol Ann got to Louisiana from Texas please contact the Bossier Parish Sheriffs Dept at 318.965.2203 Please give Carol Ann Cole’s family the peace that comes with closure. This is still an unsolved open case being investigated.
There has been increased media interest in the story in recent weeks. Today brought a new article from The Shreveport Times – Tenacity and Innovation Help Solve Bossier Cold Cases.
I’m aware that many folks have tried to post in the comments but that Disqus is not allowing them in. We’re reported the problem and it’s been looked out now. Hope to have it resolved soon.
In the meantime if you wish to contact anyone at NLQ about what happened to Carol Ann Cole, or with your own story please drop me an email at SuzanneNLQ@gmail.com.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape. She can be reached at SuzanneNLQ@gmail.com
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