Trenay Cheire Duchane
Sep. 14, 1995 - Nov. 6, 2007
Trenay lived at home with her father - Jeffery Duchane,
and stepmother Reiko Troupe along with her younger sister.
Trenay was beaten on a regular basis by her step mom whilst her dad turned away and ignored the abuse.
On the night of November 6th 2007 Jeffery left his children with Reiko whilst he went out at work, this is when Reiko proceeded to put Trenay in a bath of scalding water and punch her into unconsciousness.
She dragged her out the bath and beat her with an electrical cord. She beat and scalded her to death.
When Jeffery came home he just stepped over her body and waited 5 days before calling the cops - he said "its starting to stink out at my house" When the authorities arrived in the home they found Trenay's sister cowering in the shower nursing a broken arm and other injuries. She was also scalded and beaten with the same electrical cord.
She was taken to hospital for extensive medical treatment.
Troupe was sentenced to Life in prison with no parole. Duchane was also sentenced to Life in prison.
The too-short life of a little girl named Trenay
In the last months of her brief life, it was as if Trenay Duchane didn't exist.
She and her sister Treshae were no longer allowed to go to school. They were never seen outside the one-bedroom apartment they shared with their father, stepmother and baby sister. Child Protective Services had long since lost track of the family and those who suspected that something was wrong kept quiet.
No one put the pieces together until it was too late. Now Trenay is gone and I'm told Treshae will never be the same.
Torture can do that to a little girl.
The case drew headlines in November, when police say 12-year-old Trenay was ordered into scalding water then beaten to death and left for days in that tiny apartment with her traumatized little sister. By the time police were called, Trenay's body was decomposing and 9-year-old Treshae was cowering in the bathtub, covered in bruises, burns and assorted other injuries, both fresh and festering.
A Phoenix cop told me it was one of the worst cases of homicide he'd seen in his 24 years. In a state where a child is beaten to death every six days, that is saying something.
The father and stepmother, Jeffery Duchane and Reiko Troupe, await trial on charges of murder and child abuse.
Could we have done something to protect Trenay and Treshae? This newspaper went to court in search of an answer to that age-old and absolutely crucial question. The records, ordered released by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen, show that CPS lost track of the family a year before Trenay died and officials at the last school the girls attended failed to recognize the signs of abuse that were there, had they just opened their eyes.
CPS first encountered the girls in 2005 and again in 2006 while investigating reports that the children were being neglected when living with their mother. Caseworkers found insufficient evidence of neglect but they did offer help — furniture and rent money and bus tickets and such. By August 2006, the mother was unable to care for all five of her children and the two oldest – Trenay and Treshae – moved in with their father and stepmother.
Troupe, then 25, was also known to CPS. The agency had twice been called upon to protect her when she was a child and twice found insufficient evidence of a problem. In the summer of 2006, Troupe was again under the watchful eye of CPS, this time as an adult who had just given birth to a meth-exposed baby. Here again, CPS found no evidence of neglect but set her up with the non-profit Family Builders to get help with parenting, substance abuse and depression. Social workers reported that the girls had a good rapport with Troupe, who they called “an attentive and affectionate parent.”
Within two weeks of Trenay and Treshae showing up, however, the family broke off contact. After a month of trying to reconnect, Family Builders returned the case to CPS, noting that Troupe had met none of the goals set for her.
A CPS caseworker, finding all phone numbers disconnected, sent Troupe a certified letter: “You have till October 14, 2006, before 5 p.m. to get in touch with me. Before further actions will be made concerning your children.”
Three days later, CPS closed the case and walked away.
The girls, meanwhile, apparently continued to live in the same apartment and were enrolled in nearby Solano Elementary School for the 2006-07 school year. In November 2006, the family moved and Treshae would later say that this was when the abuse began: The beatings with a knotted electrical cord or a fist, the burnings with an iron or hot water, the bites, the broken arm that nobody bothered to see about, leaving Treshae's left arm misshapen. Treshae said her father told her that day to “stop being a baby.” She was 8 at the time.
School records indicate that the girls were frequently absent and Solano dropped Treshae from its rolls in April 2007, noting that the second-grader's status was unknown.
Jean Richards, a spokeswoman for the Osborn School District, said the state requires schools to drop a child after an absence of 10 days, though she said that someone from Solano would have gone over to the apartment to investigate.
"We would have gone out,” she said. “We have family or parent liaisons. A parent liaison would have gone out with someone else, it could have been a nurse, it could have been another teacher or the child's teacher if they were not in special ed, and made a home visit to see if somebody was physically living there.”
If they did, it's not in the school records released by the judge. Meanwhile, Trenay twice turned up that same spring with both eyes blackened, once during the same week her sister was being dropped from the rolls. Trenay explained her injuries away as a car accident and a fight with other kids. Instead of calling CPS, however, the school called relatives who confirmed the stories. Richards said they would have called CPS had they been suspicious.
The fact that they weren't, coupled with Treshae's sudden disappearance and Trenay's frequent absences, is a tragedy. A family member would later tell police that the phone calls from the school scared Troupe, who then would keep the girls home.
There is nothing in state law that requires a school to notify anyone when a child suddenly disappears.
There should be.
Attorney Jorge Franco, who has reviewed the records on behalf of Treshae and her mother, says he believes Trenay and Treshae might have been saved had the state's child abuse reporting laws covered excessive absences. “Had they been required to pick up the phone, then they would have put CPS back on the trail,” he said.
Instead, the trail vanished.
By August 2007, the family had been evicted and moved again, but the girls were never seen outside the apartment. They didn't return to Solano, and no other school requested their records. “I don't go to school,” Treshae would later tell police. “My mom teaches me at home. She said it was better.”
This from a child covered head to toe in injuries, one who told police that she and her sister were beaten every day. Until Nov. 6, 2007.
On that day, according to police, Trenay Cheire Duchane, age 12, committed a fatal mistake. She messed up her room. Treshae told police that her sister was ordered into a tub of scalding water and heard her sister's screams as she tried to escape. She was then whipped with the knotted electrical cord, pushed against the wall and punched in the face until she passed out.
By the time Duchane got home from work that evening, his daughter was dead or dying. Four days passed before he called 911. He called because her body was beginning to smell.
Such is the sort of love and support shown to too darned many children in this state.
Police found Treshae cowering in the bathtub behind the shower curtain and Trenay, long gone in the bedroom she had shared with her sister. Next to her body were pages from a notebook, filled with a child's handwriting. Over and over, the same words were written, about 100 times
“I will listen to my mom.”
(Column published June 4, 2008.)
Remembering a little girl named Trenay
Five months ago, a little girl reached out from the grave and grabbed a stranger by the heart.
Brad Jensen is a 52 year old Phoenix man who pours concrete for a living and rides Harleys for a life. He's a single dad raising a couple of kids of his own but inside he is something more.
Inside is where the three year old lives still and always will, I suppose. The child who was put into scalding water and hung by his feet and beaten and burned with cigarettes. The child who knew it was his own fault because that's what was screamed at him every single day by someone who was supposed to love him.
It takes a lifetime to get over that kind of abuse, if it's even possible. You can either drink or drug it away -- and Jensen did, for a while. Or you can face it, with the love of a good woman, and begin to heal, and Jensen did. That good woman died of breast cancer seven years ago but not before he promised her that the healing would continue, that his own girls would be cherished, as every child should be.
In June, he read an account of Trenay Duchane who died at 12, just a year younger than his twin girls. How, in the last months of her brief life, it was as if she didn't exist. How she and her 9-year-old sister were no longer allowed to go to school, no longer allowed to leave the tiny apartment they shared with their father, stepmother and baby sister.
Child Protective Services had long since lost track of them and their school showed an appalling lack of curiosity as to why one sister was showing up with black eyes while the other suddenly disappeared.
They surfaced a year ago this week, when Trenay was found dead on her bedroom floor and her sister was found cowering in the bathtub, covered in bruises and burns and other injuries.
Police say Trenay was ordered into scalding water, then brutally beaten and left to die. Her stepmother and father are in jail, awaiting trial.
The story hit Jensen like a punch to the gut and he vowed to do something for the little girl who lived and the one who didn't. He tracked down the cemetery where Trenay was buried and found her grave…
…Gone, mostly. Grass had grown over the spot where she was buried. There was no headstone, nothing to show that this was the final resting place of the girl who died, alone, on her bedroom floor.
“I promised Trenay,” Jensen said. “I sat there and just promised her that I would do something to make sure she wasn't forgotten and that her life mattered.”
He wrote a letter to Trenay's mother, Kenisha Gray, asking if he could raise the money to give Trenay a headstone. It was an answer to Gray's prayers. “In the beginning, I thought nobody didn't care,” she said. “Everybody just forgot about her. I was really praying and hoping that I could get a headstone. All of the sudden, I get a letter from Brad.”
Jensen spent much of the summer working with others to get Gray and her seven remaining children some furniture (they had none) and to fulfill his promise to Trenay. He contacted 10 places that specialize in marble, in search of someone to make and donate a headstone. Finally, he found Joe Ricciardi.
Ricciardi owns Countertop Rock, a company that makes granite countertops – not gravestones. Like Jensen, who was laid off from his construction job, Ricciardi is struggling to survive in this economy. But he happily paid to have Trenay's marker made and hopes to do more.
“Everybody should help everybody in this world, you know what I mean?,” he told me. “The joy that I got from helping this kid...”
This afternoon at 4, people who knew Trenay and some who didn't will gather at Greenwood Memory Lawn. They will stand before the headstone picked out by the sister who survived and remember the sister who didn't. And some, like Jensen will make another promise -- to see that kids like Trenay are not forgotten, that kids like her sister are given a chance, as he was given a chance.
“John McCain gets a lot of credit for suffering for five years in a prisoner of war camp,” he told me. “So many children are in prisoner of war camps every day and nobody notices.”
(Column published Nov. 8, 2008, The Arizona Republic)
Press Release: Maricopa County Attorney - Andrew P. Thomas
April 15, 2009
Father pleads guilty in horrible case of child abuse
Defendant allowed his daughter to slowly die after she had been beaten
County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that Jeffery Duchane (DOB 1/20/73) has pleaded
guilty to First Degree Murder and Child Abuse in connection with the beating death of his 12-year-old daughter Trenay Duchane.
According to the probable cause statement filed by Phoenix Police, officers were called to the Phoenix home November 10, 2007 and found the body of Trenay Duchane on a bedroom floor.
Police believe she had been dead for several days. Police also found the victim’s sister cowering in a shower with burns, bruises and a broken arm. According to the statement, the nine-year-old told police she saw her step mother scald and beat Trenay to death.
The probable cause statement goes on to say that Jeffery Duchane was contacted by the step mother,
Reiko Troupe (DOB 07/29/82), on November 6, 2007. He came home to find Trenay non-responsive but alive on the bedroom floor of the apartment. He did not call for medical help. Instead he had dinner and went to bed. Duchane told police he knew his daughter had later died. Instead of immediately calling police he went to work, leaving the body in the apartment. Also in the apartment was Trenay’s terrified nine-year-old sister.
On April 14, 2009 Duchane pleaded guilty to First degree Murder and Child Abuse. The County
Attorney’s Office is seeking natural life in prison with no possibility of parole when Duchane is sentenced on July 31, 2009.
On March 13, 2009 Troupe was sentenced to natural life in prison for the beating death of Trenay
Duchane and the abuse of the victim’s nine-year-old sister. The sentence guarantees that the defendant will never set foot outside of prison.
Family Violence Bureau Chief Suzanne Cohen is prosecuting the case. Thomas stated, “These guilty pleas will hopefully honor the memory of Trenay. We felt it was important not only to hold the step-mother accountable but also the father, who let his daughter slowly die of her injuries.”
Jeffery Duchane Sentenced
On August 3, 2009, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced that 35 year-old Jeffery Duchane was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; and also to an additional seven years after pleading guilty to First Degree Murder and Child Abuse for the beating death of his 12-year-old daughter, Trenay Duchane, and the abuse of Trenay’s nine-year-old sister.
Jeffery Duchane was contacted by the stepmother, 26 year-old Reiko Troupe on November 6, 2007. He came home to find Trenay non-responsive but alive on the bedroom floor of the apartment. He did not call for medical help; instead, he had dinner and went to bed. Duchane told police he knew his daughter had later died. Instead of immediately calling police he went to work, leaving the body in the apartment. Also in the apartment was Trenay’s terrified nine-year-old sister.
On November 10, 2007, after a call from Jefferey, Phoenix Police officers found the body of Trenay Duchane on a bedroom floor in an apartment in west Phoenix. She had been dead for several days. Officers also found the victim’s sister cowering in a shower with burns, bruises and a broken arm. The surviving nine year-old child told investigators she saw her stepmother scald and beat Trenay to death.
On April 14, 2009, Duchane pleaded guilty to First degree Murder and Child Abuse. On July 31, a judge sentenced him to natural life plus seven years which means Duchane will never be released. Troupe is also serving a natural life sentence. Family Violence Bureau Chief Suzanne Cohen prosecuted the case. We thank the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for a job well done in a horrible case of cruelty.
photos from 'in memory of.. protected to death by CPS'
Trenay and Treshae Duchane, WHY did everyone that came into contact with these girls fail them?
It’s become a common occurrence to read about mother’s boyfriend’s or vice versa committing crimes against children. It’s almost guaranted you can tune into any national news station and hear about a child being murdered because the step-parent didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of the child. A lot of the time it’s a live-in significant other and the couple hasn’t been together for very long before they move them right in to take the place of the absent parent.
In some cases CPS is called but not alway’s. At times, even when CPS does get involved there’s only so much they can do by law and a lot of these families slip through the proverbial crack. People are quick to judge the system but that’s not alway’s the case. Other times, CPS workers aren’t educated enough or maybe they don’t care enough to follow up on the cases that are handed down to them. I truly believe that the case worker’s go into it for the right reasons but perhaps they became so jaded or burnt out it prevented them from doing their job 100%.
Every time I read a new article about a child that’s been abused or murdered at the hands of the person that was supposed to love them, and whom the child loved and looked up to for guidance and structure my heart breaks in two. I alway’s ask myself, how do we as a society fix this? My friends and family would tell you I’m highly opinionated and outspoken when it comes to my beliefs. This is something I feel very strongly about, have spent many hours thinking about and many hours crying over. In the end, I have no answer. This is one of the worst crimes imaginable that can be committed and there will never be a way to stop it. I know that volunteering and raising awareness helps but someimes it just doesn’t seem like it’s enough.
Trenay Cheire Duchane was 12 years of age and Treshae Duchane was 9. They were the eldest of 6 other brothers and sisters. She was a happy kid that enjoyed playing with her siblings and as the oldest she would also watch them. She was bright and even earned “Student of the Month” while she attended Solano Elementary in Phoenix, AZ. She also liked to play video games like most kids her age did.
Things began to change in the last few months of Trenay and Treshae’s life. They were no longer aloud to go to school, they never left the one bedroom apartment they lived in with their dad, step-mom and baby step-sister. CPS lost track of them after they moved and closed the case. Family that suspected something was going on never said a word. They were being slowly erased from their dad and step-mom’s lives.
On November 10, 2007 at the approximate time of 4:20 p.m. Trenay and Treshae Duchane’s father Jeffrey Duchane, 34, called 9-1-1. When the the Phoenix PD officer’s arrived at the scene they immediately noticed that Trenay was deceased, and had been for a while. 9-year-old Treshae was in the corner of the bathtub trembling and cowering down. She was covered in bruises from head to toe, burns and had a broken arm so EMS transported her to the emergency room and she was admitted into the hospital. The baby was taken into the custody of CPS.
The first story Jeffrey Duchane gave the officer’s was he came home from work to find Trenae unconscious on her bedroom floor. He said she was alive and he poured water into her mouth to wake her up but that did not work. He say’s Reiko Troupe told him that she slipped and fell on the bathroom floor. When cops asked him why he didn’t call 9-1-1, he said he thought she would be fine.
When he finally decided to tell the truth he said he left for work on November 6 and left the girl’s in the care of his girlfriend, Reiko Troupe, 25. Reiko then started beating Trenay with her fists and at least 2 different objects. After Reiko was beating the girl she forced her into a tub filled with scalding water. Treshae tried to help but she was beaten for her efforts and seriously hurt in the process. When Jeffrey came home Trenay was unconscious but alive. He poured water into her mouth, trying to get her to snap out of it. She never did. Trenay died the same night on the 6th.
Instead of Jeffrey calling for help or taking his daughter to the hospital when she was alive he ate dinner and went to bed.
Treshae was shut up in the bedroom for 4 days with her dead sister’s body decomposing and she couldn’t get out.
During Treshae’s testimony she said Trenay messed the room up. Reiko Troupe commanded her into a tub of scalding water, when she heard her sister crying out she went to try and help her. Reiko Troupe then whipped Trenay with the knotted electrical cord, pushed her up against the wall and continuously punched her in the face until she passed out. When her dad, Jeffrey Duchane came home from work that evening, Trenay was either already dead or dying.
Next to her body was a notebook with the same words written over and over “I will listen to my mom”.
The only reason Jeffrey Duchane ever bothered to dial 9-1-1 was because Trenay was starting to stink the place up.
Marlene Peterson, the apartment manager says she saw Treshae being brought out of the apartment after the cops intervened. She said, “Her eyes were all beat up and her body was totally beaten,” Peterson said of the 9-year-old.”
CPS was involved with this family in 2005 and again in 2006. They were investigating reports of neglect while the girl’s still lived with their mother Keisha. CPS couldn’t find enough evidence to warrant a claim but they did help with clothes, bus tickets, furniture and rent money. By August of 2006 the burden of having to feed, cloth, shelter and take care of so many children was to hard to handle for Keisha so she asked Trenay and Treshae’s father if they could stay with him. He was the girl’s father, there was no reason in her mind that she shouldn’t be able to trust him. Or was there?
Reiko Troupe had her own CPS file, except she was the victim. CPS was called twice to protect her but there wasn’t enough evidence and they closed both cases. Not having enough evidence happens a lot, doesn’t it? In 2006 CPS was called on her as an adult. She had just given birth to a meth-addicted baby. Once again, not enough evidence but they happily set her up with Family Builders to help with depression, substance abuse and parenting classes. Why would she need these classes if there was no evidence of neglect of drug abuse? Hmmm. The icing on the cake for CPS was they wrote in her file that she was a very “attentive and affectionate mother.”
Within the first two weeks of the girls moving into their dad and step-mom’s apartment they broke off all contact with Family Builders. After a month of not hearing from Troupe, Family Builder’s sent her file back to CPS stating that she had not met any of her goals. CPS stated that all contact numbers had been disconnected so a letter was sent out that gave Troupe until October 14, 2006 to contact them or further actions would be taken concerning the kids. 3 days later CPS closed the case, leaving those children there to die.
Troupe and Duchane still lived in the same apartment and the girl’s were still enrolled at Solano Elementary until November, 2006. The school nor CPS bothered to ever check.
Treshae said the beatings didn’t start until after they moved. They were beat with fists, a knotted electrical cord, bitten all over, burnt with irons and scalding hot water. They had bruises from head to toe and beaten every single day. Treshae’s left arm was broken and when it healed, without medical care, it was deformed. No one ever said anything. Her daddy told her to “stop being a baby” the day she broke it. She was 8, not a baby but certainly not an adult. Even an adult would have cried out in pain.
School records showed the girl’s were alway’s absent until Solano school finally dropped them off the records. Jean Richards, a spokeswoman for the school said someone would have went by the house before taking them out of school. Well, if they did why did they not report the abuse? These girl’s were constantly battered, I find it hard to believe that if someone out of the blue just dropped by the house, Troupe and Duchane would not have had time to cover their abuse up. I’ll tell you why. No one ever went out there. The school reports that the judge released did not show anyone going out to the girl’s apartment to see why they had not been in school. Sadly, there is no law that mandates schools to find out why kids suddenly drop off the face of the earth. If there was maybe a few more kids would be saved.
In fact, in the spring Trenay went to school with TWO black eyes, during the same time Treshae was dropped from the school for to many absences. Jean Richards said they would have called CPS if they suspected abuse. CPS never came for these little girl’s though because they were never called. That was the last time either of the girl’s ever went to school because Reiko Troupe was getting paranoid. She shouldn’t have been, the school never gave a damn, it was clear that another system failed Trenay and Treshae.
Jeffrey Duchane was arrested and was given a $100,000 bond. He was charged with 2 counts of child abuse. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 7 years.
Reiko Troupe’s bond was set at $500,000. She pleaded guilty and was charged with 2 counts of child abuse and 1 count of pre-meditated first-degree murder and was sentenced to natural life in prison.
County Attorney Andrew Thomas said “These guilty pleas will hopefully honor the memory of Trenay. We felt it was important not only to hold the step-mother accountable but also the father, who let his daughter slowly die of her injuries”
Press Release http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2.pdf (exert below)
Author: M. Stone, Unforgotten Angels