April 8, 1995 in City

Boyfriend’s Deadly Past Was Hidden ‘I Lost My Son Because Of It,’ Says Mother Of Dead Child

Gita Sitaramiah Staff writer
 

Sara Erb wishes she’d known the truth about her boyfriend’s past. But she didn’t.

“I lost my son because of it,” the 24-year-old woman said Friday.

When she met Kenneth Galloway, 27, he told her he’d been in prison for assaulting two grown men, Erb said.

Actually, Galloway had served less than four years in prison for killing one of his infant sons and fracturing the ribs of his 6-month-old twin sons in Pierce County.

Now, he’s suspected of killing again.

Erb found her 2-year-old son, Devin, alone and unconscious Tuesday night after she returned to her Browne’s Addition home from softball practice.

Galloway, who was supposed to be baby-sitting the child, was gone. Erb called paramedics, but her only child couldn’t be saved.

Police began a search for Galloway, who was found Thursday morning walking along a road near Reardan, Wash. He remained in the Spokane County Jail without bond late Friday on a parole violation.

No charges have been filed against Galloway in the baby’s death. The autopsy results aren’t final, but Erb said she believes the child died of a head injury.

Erb, a psychology student at Spokane Community College, has been staying at her parents’ house in north Spokane. She wants to warn women that they should research their boyfriends’ pasts, especially if they have prison records.

She met Galloway while he was finishing a sentence at the Cornelius House, a Spokane work-release center.

Her friend was dating a man who was staying at the Cornelius House. That resident introduced Erb to Galloway last June.

“He told me he had been in prison on assault but with two grown men,” she said. “He was a great con man.”

In hindsight, Erb thinks there were clues to the potential danger.

Devin used to cry when she left him with Galloway.

“I just wrote it off as him being a mama’s boy,” Erb said.

Now she wonders if Devin was trying to tell her something.

Tuesday afternoon, Galloway said something that haunts her. Devin had thrown Galloway’s checkbook out the car window onto the freeway that day, he told her.

“He goes, ‘He’s lucky I didn’t kill him,”’ Erb said.

At the time, Erb thought Galloway was kidding.

Even her neighbor and close friend, Gary Carlson, said Galloway came across as “an awfully nice guy” with a great sense of humor.

“I guess you just don’t know anybody anymore,” Carlson said. “They let him do it twice. They better damn well not let him go a third time.”

Erb thinks that the public should be warned about child-killers when they are released, just as notices are given about released sex offenders in Washington.

She said she came into contact with three people who knew of Galloway’s criminal history and knew that she had a child. But they never warned her.

Erb hopes warning other mothers will save children, even though her loss is final.

“Nothing’s going to bring my son back.”

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