PORTLAND, Ore. – It seemed like the perfect life: A nice home, two new babies, two well-paying careers and all the love one household could contain.
That dream life was shattered in June 2011 when accomplished Portland musician Angie Foster returned home from teaching a piano lesson.
“There were police cars and an ambulance in front of my house,” Foster told KATU’s Thom Jensen. “All I could think is ‘I hope the boys are okay.’”
Angie had two infant boys at home, 11-week-old twins Bryan and Ethan. She soon learned from her husband, Kaliq Mansor, that Bryan was hurt.
The young boy wasn't breathing and he was being rushed to the hospital.
Bryan died the next day.
Doctors told Angie her baby boys were being abused. They both had broken ribs, and Bryan had been shaken so hard that his brain had started to liquefy.
Foster said nothing at the time made sense.
“I remember the doctors telling me both boys had been abused, and somebody needs to come forward. And I kept racking my brains. They can't be. Kaliq and I are the only ones that watch them,” she said. “There's no way.”
Foster and Mansor left their Southwest Portland home and stayed with friends for two weeks, but Foster soon began suspecting her husband was the abuser.
“For the first two weeks I wanted so desperately to believe him, because I loved him and I had never seen him do anything so extreme,” she said.
Foster said it became obvious Kaliq was guilty just as a Washington County grand jury met to consider whether it should recommend criminal charges against Mansor. Detectives confiscated Foster's and Mansor’s computers as part of their investigation.
That’s when Foster said she discovered there was damning information on her husband’s hard drive.
“One of the district attorneys started asking me, ‘have you heard of this website? Have you heard of this website? Dream Catchers For Abused Children? Have you ever heard of Father Hates Infant?’” she recounted. “He started telling me all of these terms. At first I looked confused, and then he told me these were all on Kaliq's computer, and I remember screaming and crying and saying ‘no! This can't! No!’ Then I think I actually almost fell on the ground because I didn't want to believe he was capable of this.”
Watch: Raw interview with Angie Foster
The next few months were almost too much to bear, Foster said. She said she couldn't get out of bed, eat, shower or even brush her teeth. Angie said it just didn't matter. Nothing mattered.
She eventually found strength as she tried to care for her surviving son Ethan and from friends who pulled her out of bed and made her take walks with them four days a week.
She has also found a new cause: fighting against child abuse along with her Portland attorney, Tara Lawrence.
“You never think it's going to happen to you. Not me. This happens to other people. It doesn't happen to people like me,” Foster said. “But the reality is it does. It happens to all walks of life.”
“Her family's case perfectly demonstrates the fact that child abuse knows no boundaries,” said Lawrence, a former Sherman County district attorney. “It does not fit into neat categories. It moves across all social and economic lines. There are no ethnic or cultural boundaries."
Nearly 600,000 children are abused every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 1,700 die from the abuse, like Bryan.
Foster says she hopes people will hear her story and pay attention to subtle details, trust suspicions and report possible abuse when they believe children are being harmed by the very people who are supposed to love and support them.
Kaliq Mansor was found guilty of murder and ten child abuse-related crimes. On Friday, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 27 years.
Child abuse resources:
If you know or suspect a child is being abused, call the National Child Abuse Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-4-A-CHILD or visit their website at childhelp.org.