Thomas dewald was responsible for killing two of his own children by holding their heads underwater while swimming near their grandfather’s house in Wheatley, Ontario.
At the time of his crimes, he was on six-month day parole and also receiving psychological therapy sessions.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Dewald hails from Windsor, Ontario. He has two daughters named Nida and Jennifer that live with their grandmother. In an interview with police he stated he took Nida due to the deteriorating living conditions she faced and mentioned breaking into another home earlier to abduct other children from there as well.
Dewald entered the house where he abducted the 4-year-old through an unlocked window, according to a criminal complaint, before binding and placing her inside a wooden chest until he returned, according to police.
Investigators were later informed by him of another home he entered with the intention of taking three sleeping children, but changed his mind upon seeing acceptable living conditions and hearing a dog bark outside. He was charged with kidnapping, criminal attempt to kidnap, burglary, false imprisonment unlawful restraint and criminal trespass.
Dewald has an extensive criminal background that includes charges of robbery, criminal conspiracy and aggravated burglary. Additionally, he has been active with many community service organizations, serving as an emeritus board member of Memphis Salvation Army Advisory Board.
Police said Dewald entered through an unlocked door and crept into the child’s bedroom before binding her with tape and placing her inside a wooden chest, telling her he would return around noon, according to an affidavit filed with authorities.
Dewald told investigators he had been targeting children living in “deplorable conditions,” according to police. They noted he broke into another home intending to abduct one, but decided against doing so due to acceptable living conditions instead – leaving shortly thereafter upon hearing a dog barking, as per reports.
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Dewald excelled academically at the College of Wooster, receiving various honors, awards and scholarships. Additionally, he played junior varsity football on which he served on offensive line and co-offensive coordinator for two seasons.
He received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his services to the United States, and completed various courses such as Martial Arts Instructor Course, Joint Fire Observer Course and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Full Spectrum Level C course.
Thomas Dewald has completed 34 months of psychological counselling, and can apply for parole once this program has ended. High school classmates remember Thomas Dewald as being an introspective, quiet individual who rarely interacted with other students, although some recall him keeping a “hit list” with names written down of fellow classmates on which he regularly kept tabs.
Thomas Dewald was arrested after being accused of kidnapping and binding a 4-year-old girl with tape, before stuffing her into a wooden trunk at his grandparents’ home and masturbating near her. State police noted he admitted casing the neighborhood for children playing unsupervised and seeking homes without video surveillance nearby.
Investigators were told by him that he believed the victim lived in “deplorable conditions”, so he intended to save her. Days later he admitted breaking into another family’s home in Rouzerville.
He was found guilty on charges of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass and sentenced to 34 months of incarceration – during which time he must undergo psychological counselling for emotional management issues.
His estimated net worth exceeds $100,000. He owns multiple properties – including his primary residence in Chambersburg, PA – as well as multiple businesses.
Dewald has been charged with kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment of a minor, unlawful restraint, criminal trespass and corruption of minors according to court documents. Since his arrest his family have been inundated with media requests.
Dewald told police he had conducted an exhaustive neighborhood survey to locate children living without supervision and without video surveillance nearby. After witnessing “deplorable conditions” within their household, Dewald selected Gemma Moats from her bedroom via an unlocked window and took her from there, leaving after hearing a dog bark. Later he bound her up using tape before placing her into a wooden chest in his bedroom.