Justice for Juliette
Four years after a little girl was beaten to death in her crib, her senseless murder remains unsolved. The shocking crime rocked the small town of Gering, Nebraska, especially since three adults were in the home when two-year old Juliette Geurts was killed. Her twin sister, Jaelyn, was in the crib next to her.
Juliette’s aunt, Monica Hall, is furious that the murder remains unsolved. She believes all of the three suspects - Juliette’s mother Charyse, her boyfriend Dustin Chauncey and their friend Brandon Townsend - have gotten away with the murder of her adorable two-year old niece.
Monica said to INSIDE EDITION, “It’s been four years of hell for our family. Juliette didn't beat herself to death, somebody murdered her.”
But no arrests have been made!
Monica showed INSIDE EDITION’S Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero the home where the brutal murder occurred. The home is so small, Monica refuses to believe none of the adults at home that night heard or saw the violent beating.
Lisa Guerrero asked, “Do you believe the adults in the house that night know what happened?”
“They definitely know what happened. There's no doubt in my mind,” Monica replied.
Four years later local feelings about this unsolved murder remain raw. Monica played a recorded conversation she had with the District Attorney handling the case, Doug Warner.
D.A.Warner: “I’m working hard to solve this case.”
Monica Hall: “I hope for Juliette’s sake you will find justice for her.”
D.A. Warner: “Don't give me that ‘for Juliette.’ Do you know how many dead babies I’ve worked on?”
Asked how Warner’s comments affected her, Monica told Guerrero, “It just made my heart sink.”
Guerrero went to speak to District Attorney Warner along with a group of concerned citizens, but Warner left work early.
“You need to leave,” warned his secretary.
According to Monica, another glaring problem with the case is that the police didn’t lock down the home as a crime scene until five days after Juliette was beaten to death.
Guerrero caught up with Gering Police Chief Mel Griggs.
“Can you explain why that crime scene - why that house wasn't secured for five days?” asked Guerrero.
“I'm just not prepared to answer that,” Griggs said after a long pause.
Guerrero followed, “Why has it taken so long to find the person responsible for her murder? There were only three adults in that house that night.”
“That’s true and we have evidence that they were there but none of them are talking,” explained Griggs.
Since Juliette’s death in 2008, all three suspects have left Nebraska and the police haven't spoken to them in more than three years. So Guerrero and INSIDE EDITION’S I-SQUAD tracked them down.
Brandon Townsend is now living outside Denver, Colorado. He says he was passed out drunk on a couch the night Juliette died.
Guerrero asked, “Did you kill Juliette Geurts?”
“No. I love that little girl with all my heart,” Townsend said.
“What do you think happened?” inquired Guerrero.
“I think Dustin went in there in the middle of the night and beat her too hard,” Townsend painfully replied.
Townsend believes Dustin Chauncey, Charyse's boyfriend, was drunk and beat Juliette because she wouldn't stop crying.
“He had a real short temper and the girls were really scared of him,” Townsend told Guerrero.
We tracked down the dead child's mother, Charyse, to her new home near Green Bay, Wisconsin. She has never given an interview before and wasn't happy when we caught up with her.
Guerrero asked, “Charyse did you kill baby Juliette?”
“No,” Charyse emphatically replied.
Charyse, who still has partial custody of the dead child's twin sister, claims she took a sleeping pill that night and doesn’t remember anything.
“Do you feel responsible in some way?” asked Guerrero.
“What mother wouldn’t feel responsible,” Charyse sobbed. “I don't want to talk anymore.”
But after she broke down crying she also pointed the finger at her now ex-boyfriend Dustin Chauncey.
Guerrero asked, “Did Dustin kill her?”
“Yeah I believe that he did it,” she admitted.
So who is Dustin Chauncey? We found he's been arrested twelve different times for everything from theft and drugs to violent assault.
When the I-SQUAD finally tracked him down to this suburban house near Denver, Chauncey and his current girlfriend tried to drive off.
They took off into this busy intersection and a police car nearby pulled them over. Guererro spoke to Chauncey through the driver’s side window.
Guerrero asked, “Did you hurt Juliette Geurts?”
“No, I didn’t,” Chauncey snapped. “You guys can speak to my lawyer because I’m done. No comment.”
Guerrero persisted: “What do you have to say to Juliette’s family?”
“I will speak to them on my own time. I’m done thank you,” said Chauncey.
“Did you kill Juliette Geurts?” shouted Guerrero as Chauncey sped off.
On the fourth anniversary of her death, Juliette’s aunt Monica organized a touching candle light vigil.
“We ask you Jesus that there might be justice for Juliette,” said a pastor in a heartfelt sermon.
A group of volunteers recently collected over 1,700 signatures to force a grand jury to review the case and hopefully find enough evidence to convict Juliette's killer.
But today many wonder if there'll ever be justice for this sweet little girl.