On the night Camden Fry died, her mother sat on the 8-year-old girl’s chest and placed her hands over the girl's nose and mouth — causing her to "choke a little bit" — in a bid to stop her from screaming and crying.
That, according to Timothy Fry’s testimony Tuesday afternoon, is what Kimberly Fry told him the first time he spoke to her about the circumstances surrounding their daughter's death. Camden Fry died of asphyxiation that night and her mother is on trial for second-degree murder.
Timothy Fry said he first spoke to his wife about what happened the evening of Aug. 10, 2009 two days later, as she lay in the Intensive Care Unit at South County Hospital after having taken a cocktail of prescription drugs in a failed bid to kill herself. Fry said his wife told him Camden, who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, was out of control and had launched into a two-hour-long screaming fit during which she was kicking, punching and trying to bite her mother.
“She said she held her hands over her mouth and nose to stop Camden from crying,” Timothy Fry said. “Kim said Camden had started to choke a little bit.”
At that point, Timothy Fry said he had no idea how Camden had died. He had not seen the bruising on her chest and neck the investigation would later reveal. He said he noticed only the girl's discoloration and a small mark on her forehead when he found her dead in her bed.
In the most emotional testimony of the Kimberly Fry murder trial so far, Timothy Fry described the morning he found his 8-year-old daughter, breaking down in sobs Tuesday morning as prosecutor Stephen Regine played a CD of the 911 call he made on Aug. 11, 2009.
On the recording, Fry can be heard screaming and crying on the phone as he sought medical help for his 8-year-old daughter, Camden. "Oh my God, please hurry ... oh my daughter's ... she's not. she's ... she's dead," Timothy Fry is heard telling the dispatcher. "No, no, no. How can this be?"
The recording goes on for more than five minutes as Fry continues to scream and sob, yelling for his wife, who was mostly unresponsive. "Wake yourself, woman," Timothy Fry is heard saying at least twice. "Our daughter is dead. How could this be?"
Kimberly Fry is charged with strangling her daughter in their North Kingstown home the night before while Camden threw a temper tantrum over refusing to take a bath. If convicted of second-degree murder, she faces the possibility of life in prison. Defense attorney Sarah Wright has said Kimberly did not intend to kill her daughter, but was performing a restraint technique aimed at stopping a tantrum. Kimberly Fry then reportedly took a mix of prescription drugs in a failed bid to kill herself, penning a suicide note to her husband, according to police reports and court filings.
On the evening of Aug. 10, Tim Fry returned home from a hockey game around 9:40 p.m., finding his wife half-asleep on the living room couch. He checked on his daughter, who appeared to be sleeping peacefully under the covers in her bed.
Nothing, he said, appeared out of place, and nothing was out of the ordinary. Kimberly frequently fell asleep on the couch due to the anti-anxiety medication and Benadryl she often took to help her sleep, he said. After helping her to bed, Kimberly Fry asked her husband to stay with her that night, which was unusual, Timothy Fry testified. He often slept in a spare room due to Kim's problems sleeping.
The next morning, Tim Fry woke up as usual, let out the dog, made coffee and began a typical Tuesday. Between 9 and 9:30 a.m., he said it occurred on him that Camden never slept that late, so he went to her room to check on her.
"I was standing in her doorway. It occurred to me she was in the same position as when I had seen her the night before," Fry said. "I stood there for at least a minute, trying to convince myself I could see the covers rising."
Fry walked to his daughter's bed, finding her eyes open and completely dilated. He testified he threw the covers off her, removed a stuffed elephant from her arms and rolled her over on her back, noticing her body was "ice cold and stiff," Fry said between sobs. "I gave her a breath — a CPR breath — but I knew she wasn't alive. I knew she was gone."
As authorities prepared to remove Camden's body, Timothy Fry helped his wife into her bedroom to say good-bye. Barely able to walk, he said, Kimberly "draped herself across Camden's body, sobbing and saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Soon after, Tim Fry looked into his wife's eyes and noticed something was wrong. He went to the medicine cabinet, finding empty bottles of Vicodin, Clonazepam, Ambien and Cymbalta, then asked for an ambulance, which rushed her to South County Hospital.
No one in the family ever returned to live in the house at 73 Ricci Lane, Timothy Fry testified. His wife has been held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutes in Cranston since she was arrested, while he moved back to his birthplace in the northern part of the state. Fry said he has not seen his wife in the two years since the incident, and talked to her only once a few days after their daughter's death. Fry filed for divorce in April, having waited that long on his attorney's advice, he said.