This information is based on interviews, and questionable events that have not been brought out in any present information.
January 24, 2014 became a very dark day for the Ritenour family when their beloved daughter, granddaughter, and niece passed away from circumstances at the time that were unexplainable to the family. A mother left without answers, and a daughter she adored passed away.
January 30th the family laid their Ava to rest, still asking why and how. Alicia Ritenour dealing with grief for days before this date, and days after clung to a small stuffed animal of Ava’s as to hope that Ava would somehow reappear and want her stuffed animal. Sadness, disbelief, and anger all boil within the family as to the unanswered question of what happened to Ava.
February 4, 2014 Alicia is arrested for her child’s death less than twelve days after the loss of Ava the Oskaloosa Police Dept., Division of Criminal Investigation, Mahaska County Attorney’s office and the Iowa Attorney General’s office had sworn out an arrest warrant for Alicia before the autopsy final report was released, and probably before all evidence in the case had been processed by the state crime lab. Basing their arrest warrant on at this point speculation from what I have researched. The Media and public have only part of the whole story and the rest needs to be out.
Here we are with basic information that Ava had serious trauma, a coroner’s report that isn’t officially out at the time this article was originally published (original publish date was 02/05/2014) it usually takes five to six weeks for a coroner’s official report to be released.
Numerous Items were taken from the Apartment before a search warrant was issued and executed by the Osky P.D. that to this date have not been listed in any Affidavit of evidence.
There is a lot more to this story then the public is hearing or seeing, such as at the time in question there were two other individuals in the apartment. Alicia’s boyfriend Jacob Adam Rouch (age 22), and another young adult named Logan Dean Cavan (age 19) whom did not leave at any point from the night before until Ava was discovered. Alicia informed her boyfriend that his friend Logan had to leave the next day, and that she did not want him in her apartment. Logan went to sleep on the couch at some point, but was informed he would have to sleep on the floor since the couch was meant for a teenager staying with Alicia. This enraged Logan and others in the apartment heard a thud shortly after he was informed. Logan tried to sleep on the floor in Alicia’s room the night before Ava was found but was told to leave the room. Jake trying to calm the situation down offered Logan a cigarette, Logan threw it back at Jake in anger.
How late did these young adults stay up is in question, however from the information I have it was late into the night, as teens and twenty-something adults often do when they do not work.
The next morning Alicia woke up to take the teenager on the couch to school, she checked on Ava hearing her playing in her room. Not wanting to disturb Ava and make her cry from seeing Alicia before she took the minor to school Alicia made a bottle and placed it inside the door of Ava’s room hoping she would not see her and cry like she had done other mornings before taking the minor to school. Alicia looked over in the living room on her way out at Logan sleeping on the floor, and Jacob was sleeping in Alicia’s bed. When Alicia returned to her apartment within the hour she noticed Logan sleeping on the couch, not thinking much about it she went look in on Ava. Reaching Ava’s room she looked in to see Ava sleeping on the floor with the blanket that was on the couch earlier that morning. Ava seeming to be resting peacefully Alicia turned off the light, and TV to let Ava rest more, and being a little tired Alicia went to lay down for more sleep.
Later that day the grandmother Tina came over to spend time with Ava as she usually does on her days off, and at that time she and Alicia found Ava unresponsive. Attempting to revive Ava while Alicia and Jacob were in hysterics, and Logan sat on the couch (described by the Paramedic as a lump when he saw him as he came in) expressionless as all the activities went on to help Ava. (However depending on which story you listen to of Logan’s he is active and helpful, however no one even police or medics testified to such actions of Logan.)
During the investigation some things have been brought to my attention:
One neighbor of Alicia’s and his girlfriend had made a statement to police that they witnessed Logan raising his hand to Ava in a motion as to wanting to strike her in the head, and stating that “all she ever does is cry, I just want to kick her and knock her out”.
The official Affidavit states:
“On or about the 24th of January 2014, law enforcement was called to Southern Hills Apartments in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. Upon arrival, Ava Marie Ritenour (DOB 8/1/2012) was found deceased in the apartment that the defendant and infant resided in. A witness has stated that he heard a loud thump during the middle of the previous night coming from the room where the infant sleeps, while the mother was alone in the room with the infant. The infant had suffered from severe head trauma, and died from said trauma. The body of the infant was found shortly after 2:00 p.m. on the 24th day of January, 2014. The infant had been deceased for a significant period of time when found by law enforcement.”
My question is: Is Logan the credible witness? Was he offered a deal on his weapons charge and drug charges to become a “credible witness”? It could be the case since his weapons charge was settled with a “slap on the wrist” on 1/30/2014 the same day Ava was laid to rest. Logan has numerous charges, the weapons charge being the most serious. He also has drug charges. We have even found criminal charges in another state that he has had in the past.
Jake has also had criminal charges brought against him including burglary which was settled around the time of this case to, but only after he also had interviews with the police and District Attorney’s office just like Logan.
Were these two males offered “deals” on their charges in exchange for implicating Alicia? Are these two possibly drug informants? One starts to wonder if these two are double dealing their way out of serious penalties for their crimes. Or do the police possible need these two kept on the streets for to be informants. With Logan being a known Methamphetamine user and stating in a deposition that he was “crashing” the morning that Ava was found could make him dangerous to anyone.
Could Logan or Jake be actually been the one of the ones to injured Ava causing her death, since there is a possibility that one of the two was angry with Alicia for the situation the night before. Was the loud thump when Logan possible hit an object in the apartment after being kicked off the couch or being kicked out of Alicia’s room? Is Jacob hiding what he might know about the situation since Logan has been his friend for years, and they have only been around Alicia a few months? Was any of this looked at in the investigation or overlooked. There are too many unanswered questions about this night.
Other websites like KCCI and OskyNews (OskyNews being a non-accredited AP website like this one) these two sites have allowed people to comment on their stories (posting threats), putting the family at risk. Without knowing all the facts many have already made the assumption that Alicia was alone in the apartment with Ava during the evening before and that next day when Ava was found. Others know there were “witnesses” in the apartment, but until this article originally appeared knew nothing about the males in the apartment, or their drug use. The Osky P.D. probably wouldn’t investigate any Facebook threats since they claim anyone can hack a Facebook page.
Facts are what need to be exposed, and still have not all been exposed as to what the P.D. and District Attorney’s office have been hiding. The justice system in this case and in many others is played like a sporting event, where they have used the media and what they want to let out as “facts” to convict someone.
The questionable investigation has been one of my concerns by the Oskaloosa PD and the DCI this was partially confirmed by the partial evidence list they supplied that they claim was taken from the apartment. Eleven items in total were on their evidence list, none of their evidence that was taken had anything to do with the males in the apartment. This includes clothing, shoes, DNA, and no forensics was done in this investigation. The only focus the PD made as in evidence was on Alicia, the two boys received a “get out of trouble free” card right from the start.
There will be more in a future article about different aspects of this case, failures, and misleading acts by the investigators and prosecution, and the defense attorney.
This article originally date of posting was on 02/05/2014, however due to hackers it has had to be reposted.