SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A community gathered Sunday night to pay their respects to 11-year-old Chaskah Davis Smith. Chaskah’s grandmother, Stephanie Davis, and her husband, Thomas Desharnais, are charged in connection with her murder. They met at the Extended Stay America in Old Town Scottsdale, where the family has lived for the past two years.
“I feel very bad for not having done more, I did everything I could but it wasn’t enough,” Courtney Lange said.
Lange worked at the hotel reception. She said she interacted several times with Chaskah and her nine-year-old half-brother. “These little boys were covered head to toe in clothes, they always wore sunglasses and hats, whenever you spoke to them directly, they would never answer for themselves,” she explained.
Police believe Stephanie Marie Davis, 51, abused the 11-year-old and her 9-year-old half-brother for a time.
Lange said she called the Child Safety Department twice about the family, concerned about possible abuse. The DCS confirmed it received three reports in 2017, and two of them were deemed unsubstantiated.
A week ago, first responders were called to the family’s hotel room for an unconscious child. Court documents show they noticed cuts and bruises all over him. Desharnais reportedly later admitted to investigators that Davis frequently starved the children and beat them.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” said Laurie Staalberg, a retired teacher. Staalberg helped organize the vigil. “We just want to show that he’s not forgotten and that we care,” said neighbor Linder Derringer.
Bikers against Child Abuse also participated. “It’s a story that happens too many times,” said Woodstock, a member.
Neighbors have placed candles in front of an ever-growing memorial. “There were a lot of things that were missed here, and I think it’s really important that people are educated that if something doesn’t look right or doesn’t feel right, you should absolutely call” , said Lange.
Grandmother and husband arrested for homicide and child abuse after boy’s death
Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc.