Prosecutor Finally Has Closure in Little Diana Case
A child's death 10 years ago Tuesday became a statewide call to action as people questioned how someone could be so heinous as to kill a two-year-old girl. One of those most affected by the case is Hall County Attorney Mark Young, who says he has finally been able to find closure in the death of Little Diana.
Over the course of 24 hours, the two-year-old Grand Island girl was tortured in nearly unthinkable ways, all because she wet the bed.
Little Diana's short life was ended at the hands of her own father, Germai Molina.
"Ordered to stand on a bucket with her arms in the air and was beaten repeatedly when she would cry or lower her arms, basically was tortured to death over 24 hours," said Young about the conditions that led to Little Diana's death.
Unfortunately the only person who could have stopped it was a mother who likely lived fearing she would be next.
"She was as isolated as any human being could be – no papers, zero English language skills, lived in the basement, kept in the house all the time," Young explained. "Not ever sure she could've escaped with the children; where she would've run. Ironically, just a few blocks from the police department."
Young says even after 30 years as a prosecutor, emotionally, there's been no harder case.
"It was tough to work more than ten minutes without needing to take a break," he shared. "Beating was severe enough the child's belt that was used was recovered in pieces, which we were able to get DNA off of."
The mother, also named Diana, agreed to testify against her husband, at a trial moved to Lincoln because they couldn't find a fair jury in Grand Island.
And while he could have received the death penalty, the jury found Germai Molina guilty of second degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was sentenced to life in prison.
He has since appealed the ruling and lost, something Young is happy about because now he can "finally have closure."
Diana Molina served two and a half years behind bars and after her release was deported to her native El Salvador. She hasn't been heard from since.
Little Diana also had one sibling who has since found a new family, and by all accounts is doing very well.