In 2015 I remember turning on the news are hearing about a man, Ali Elmezayan, who killed his two autistic children by driving into San Pedro Bay at the Port of Los Angeles, less than thirty minutes from where I lived.
I was horrified at what I heard, not just because, like his two children, I’m on the spectrum, but also because as a parent of a child, I found what he did to be absolutely disgusting.
Fast forward four years and Elmezayen has now been charged with capital murder, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
I find it very interesting that Elmezayen actually had three children. One child who was diagnosed with high functioning autism, and the two who were driven to their death, who were both diagnosed as “severely” autistic.
That tragic day, Elmezayen took his two severely autistic children and his wife and loaded them into the family car. The one son who was diagnosed as higher functioning was away at a high school camp.
I find it interesting that he only took the two who were severely autistic and chose to do this horrific deed while the one who was supposedly higher functioning was away. It almost seems as if Elmezayen was valuing the life of one child over the other two.
Maybe the two that drowned in the harbor would be more of a “burden” to Elmezayen than the other child and he found the perfect time to take the family for a drive. Either way, this never should have happened and personally, I’m happy that Elmezayen is up on capital charges.
Since I’m not the parent of an autistic child I won’t pretend to know what the family’s daily life was like, but as a parent, I know that it’s my responsibility to take care of our kids, no matter what.
After the drowning, which Elmazayen survived because his window was rolled down and he could easily escape. His wife couldn’t swim but was rescued when a local fisherman threw a life preserver to her.
Over the course of the three years following this tragedy, Elmezayen filed lawsuits against everyone he could think of, including the automobile manufacturer, local auto parts store, the city of Los Angeles and various government agencies.
After losing the lawsuits, it was on to trying to collect the insurance policies he had taken out on his wife and children. As he worked through the system, he committed numerous felonies including mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft (after posing as his wife to the insurance company) and money laundering. He was arrested by the FBI in late 2018.
“This case alleges a calculated and cold-hearted scheme to profit off the deaths of two helpless children,” US Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement. “The alleged conduct shocks the conscience, and we will use every tool available to us to ensure that justice is done.”
Currently, Elmezayen is in federal prison awaiting trial and once that is completed, he will be turned over to the County of Los Angeles for the capital murder trials.
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