Thursday, October 18, 2001

Caseworker killed on home visit

By Charley Gillespie
The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS, Ohio — A caseworker for a children's services agency was stabbed to death while interviewing a couple in one of the rough neighborhoods where she had asked to be assigned.

        Police have charged the man whom Nancy Fitzgivens went to see Tuesday about his seven children, whom she had helped remove from the home.

        “Her job was so important to her because she too was abused as a child,” Ms. Fitzgivens' husband, Clovis Dawson, 60, said Wednesday of his wife of six years. “As a caseworker she wanted to be on the front line fighting for the children.”

        Ms. Fitzgivens, 53, was a mother of three adult children from a previous marriage. As a single mother she spent 10 years earn ing her social-work degree from Ohio Dominican College in May 1999 while working full time.

        Mr. Dawson said Ms. Fitzgivens had worked for Franklin County Children Services for two years and wanted to help the most at-risk children, even if it meant going to the toughest neighborhoods.

        On Tuesday she went to the west-side home of Gregory Pack, 38, and his common-law wife, Rosie Newkirk. Police said that at some point Ms. Fitzgivens was left alone with Mr. Pack, and when his wife returned a short time later, she discovered Ms. Fitzgivens' body.

        Police located Mr. Pack at a mental-health center, arrested him and charged him with aggravated murder. He was being held Wednesday in the county jail.

        Mr. Dawson said his wife often talked about the seven children in the home but never said she feared going there.

        “She carried a picture of one of the children — a cute little girl standing with her arms crossed — in her purse,” he said.

        John Saros, director of the children's services agency, said Ms. Fitzgivens had been working with the couple for some time and had placed the children with relatives.

        “She had been making regular visits with the family trying to unify them,” he said.


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