Justice for Juliette: A family's quest for closure - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Justice for Juliette: A family's quest for closure

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Shelley Russell

 GERING, NEB (KPTM) – A two-year old girl's homicide remains unsolved in western Nebraska, nearly three years after the murder.

Juliette Serenity Geurts was beaten to death on July 11, 2008, in her Gering, Neb., home.

"That Friday when I got that phone call that one of the twins had died, was the biggest shock of my life," said Monica Hall of Wisconsin, aunt of Juliette and her twin sister, Jaelyn.

"She was the outgoing one. She was the spitfire. She wasn't afraid of anything," Hall remembered.

And Juliette was also the one who was murdered.

Autopsy reports indicate Juliette was beaten to death with a four-inch laceration to her liver and bleeding to her brain. Police confirm three adults were at the home during the time she was murdered, but not one of them has been arrested.

Authorities confirm Charyse Geurts (Vardeman) – the mother of the twins, Dustin Chauncey and Brandon Townsend were all present in the home at the time Juliette was found dead in her crib.

The twins' father, Casey, was serving in the Army when his daughter was murdered.

Family members have unanswered questions. Among those: why Juliette's murder case is still unsolved after nearly three years; why investigators waited five days to seal off the house as a crime scene; why the three adults were not questioned or drug tested immediately after Juliette's murder.

Their nagging question: When will there be closure? Justice for Juliette?

The Scottsbluff County Attorney Doug Warner is the only official who can comment on Juliette's murder case. He declined FOX 42's request for an on camera interview. But he told us cases like this one "just take time."

There's three people in the house. What time do they need?" asked Amber Brunner, Gering, Neb. "It should have been solved long ago."

In a recorded phone conversation, Warner said he was "a little bit put off" after being asked how important Juliette's case was to him.

Warner said, "There is no evidence to prove which of the suspects is responsible for the death at this point."

When asked what evidence could be found years later, Warner said he could not comment.

The following is an excerpt from a recorded telephone conversation between Hall and Warner from 2010:

Doug Warner (County Attorney): "I am going to try to make this case work."

Monica Hall (Juliette's Aunt): "Well, I hope you're telling me the truth. I hope for Juliette's sake, you're telling me, you'll find justice for her."

Doug Warner (County Attorney): Now, don't give me that for Juliette. Do you know how many dead babies I've worked on? I've worked on dozens of dead baby cases."

Hall remains hopeful that one day there will be justice for her nieces – both Juliette and Jaelyn.

"When I'm 80-years old, I will be able to look at Jaelyn and tell her I did everything I could," she said.

Jaelyn is currently living with her paternal grandparents in Wisconsin while her father, Casey, is serving his third tour overseas.

While the family waits for justice, they hold onto the sweet memories of a two-year old girl, and treasure the moments with her sister, Jaelyn.

"I'm just a simple person hoping for a little justice," said Hall. "For somebody to remember that she was murdered."

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning declined our request for an interview, and had no comment on this case.

We tried contacting Bruning by email and phone numerous times over the course of two weeks. His spokeswoman said he had no comment on the case since it was being handled by Doug Warner in Gering, Neb.

We asked Bruning why he has not responded to the family's plea for help, and at what point he would step in to assist in the case. Those questions were never answered.

For more information on the family's plea for public help, visit "Justice for Juliette" on face book, or JusticeforJuliette.org

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