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Seeking closure from tragedy

The parents of Tabasha Paige-Criado are looking for help connecting with items that survived the fire that took the lives of their daughter and their four grandchildren in July.

Gwendolyn Crowles, 48, says that financial hardships have kept the family from making the trip from Bakersfield, Calif., to Medford to collect some of the belongings.

"I don't want big things like a stove or refrigerator," Crowles said in a phone interview. "I just want small things like clothes or a pacifier that belonged to my daughter and grandkids. I have nothing here to remember them by."

Crowles does not know what escaped the flames that broke out inside her daughter's home on West 10th Street the morning of July 18.

Investigators believe the blaze was intentionally set by Jordan Adam Criado, 51, in a suicide attempt following the murder of Paige-Criado and her four children.

Criado has been charged with 24 counts of aggravated murder and four counts each of murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree arson. He is accused of killing his 30-year-old wife, Tabasha, and children, Elijah, 7, Isaac, 6, Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2, and lighting multiple fires in the home.

Paige-Criado died of stab wounds to the neck and abdomen, according to autopsy results. Andrew and Isaac died of stab wounds to the neck and carbon-monoxide poisoning from the arson. Elijah and Aurora died from carbon-monoxide poisoning, determined through toxicology tests.

Crowles traveled to Medford immediately following the deaths, but was unable to enter the home because it remained a working crime scene, she said.

She returned to California and has not been able to scratch up the money to return for her daughter and grandchildren's belongings.

"I want a personal item I can hold onto," Crowles said through tears.

Landlord Monte Frazier moved some of the items from inside the home to a trailer in the backyard, Crowles said.

"He's been very helpful to us," she said. "We appreciate it."

Crowles hoped to have the items moved to a storage unit in Medford, but was never able to coordinate the project.

"It's just so difficult," she said. "We have never experienced anything like this. We are still getting over what happened."

She and her husband, Bill Crowles, who is Paige-Criado's stepfather, said they are overwhelmed by the generosity showed to them by the Medford community.

Local residents placed stuffed animals, flowers and cards in front of the home following the murders.

Crowles said someone boxed up the stuffed toys and shipped them to her home.

"We have no idea who did this," she said. "We would like to thank them."

Crowles said the toys were donated to the United Way, shelters and hospitals.

The memorial kept growing in the weeks following the fire. The items have been placed on the porch, where the flowers and stuffed toys have wilted in the elements.

Crowles hopes volunteers can enter the trailer and sift through the belongings. She wants only a few small things boxed up and sent to Bakersfield.

Crowles said a fund has been opened at local Chase Bank branches. She said the money can be collected for expenses by anyone who boxes up the items and mails them to her.

"We don't want no money," Crowles said. "We just want some of my baby's things. If someone wants to ship them to us, we can work out getting them money from the fund."

Crowles asks that the items be shipped to her home at 3224 St. Mary's St., Bakersfield, Calif., 93305.

Meanwhile, Jordan Criado remains lodged without bail in the Jackson County Jail. No trial date has been set, according to court records.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.

Stuffed animals and rotted plants sit on the steps of the home where Tabasha Paige-Criado and her children, Elijah, 7, Isaac, 6, Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2, died from a combination of stab wounds and smoke inhalation Monday, July 18, 2011 after being pulled from their burning west Medford home. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore - Julia Moore