The name Ethan Cook should be known by a lot of people.
Despite repeated allegations that his father was abusing him, an Orange County, Ca. court gave his dad sole custody.
In his father’s custody, Ethan got into trouble so much that a juvenile court judge- on more than one occasion- ordered Ethan be removed from his father’s home.
The family court ignored those orders and approximately eight months after turning eighteen Ethan was found hanged.
I’m joined by attorney Pat Berry, who filed a wrongful death suit.
Remarkably, there was no coverage of his death or the events which may have led to it.
The lawsuit is about the only evidence that Ethan existed and that anything untoward happened. The case was dismissed with the decision reading in part.
Ethan’s suicide appears to have been over a year after he interacted with nearly every defendant, and it is unclear that the narrow exceptions to suicide being an intervening cause apply to any defendant. Accordingly, it appears that the connection between Ethan’s suicide and the named Defendants is too attenuated to support causation as a matter of law, even assuming the truth of Plaintiffs’ allegations.
Ethan’s case involves several players previously featured in my investigation of Orange County: namely Miriam Galindo.
In fact, I previously released a recording of Galindo and Ethan’s dad, which appears to have been recorded covertly. Below is part of it.
No, I, no, I don't. I, and I mean, it's obviously a very difficult situation. Did you get my letter regarding the phone call to Elliott?
Yeah, I just didn't open it because I want to make sure that I'm looking very clean today. So I'll open it afterward. You know what I'm gonna do just to make sure nobody thinks that I'm talking with the other side. I'm gonna go someplace and just do my calls.
Below is some of Galindo’s deposition in relation to this case.
As these snippets show, the case was made more complicated both because Ethan’s mom started out with physical custody before that was changed- largely on the strength of Galindo’s report Pat told me- and because Ethan’s mom moved during the custody battle.
Also cited in Pat’s lawsuit was Steve Dragna who appeared in Brad Conley’s case.
Pat described a case where the court catered to Ethan’s father while ignoring numerous warning signs.
She also said an investigation into his death was non-existent. She hopes that this story reaches enough people in Orange County that his death may be reopened.
I reached out to Ethan’s dad at a number listed but did not receive a response.
Check out the previous articles in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, and Part 20.
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