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News >  Idaho

Mother wins fight to bury children together

John Miller Associated Press

BOISE – Four Idaho children are now due to be reunited in death after estranged family members have agreed to a plan that calls for a toddler who drowned accidentally in 2004 to be exhumed from a cemetery and moved to a graveyard in the Rocky Mountains, where he will be reburied with three siblings murdered by their father, the family said Friday.

“I’m grateful that they have decided to allow my request,” said Leslie Olsen, the children’s mother.

In May 2004, Olsen’s 21-month-old son, Ian Michael Nice, drowned in one of Twin Falls’ many irrigation ditches. He’s buried at Sunset Memorial cemetery in Twin Falls.

Four days before Christmas 2005, Olsen’s estranged husband, Jim Junior Nice, killed their three other children – 6-year-old twins, Justin and Spencer; and 2-year-old Raquel – by poisoning their pudding and hot chocolate. They are buried in the Mt. McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay, Idaho, deep in central Idaho’s Rocky Mountains.

Last month, Olsen sued to exhume Ian’s body and have it buried beside his siblings. Although Jimmy and Claire Nice, Jim Junior Nice’s parents, own the plot in Twin Falls where Ian is buried, Olsen argued she has custody of the child’s body.

Though Jim and Claire Nice had originally opposed Olsen in 5th District Court, they now say they won’t stand in the way of the plan of their former daughter-in-law. She says the plan is meant to reunite her children in the town her family calls its ancestral home.

Since Ian Michael Nice’s death and the divorce of Leslie and Jim Junior Nice in 2004, the Olsen and Nice families have been divided, which has contributed to the conflict over what to do with Ian Michael Nice’s remains. Jimmy and Claire Nice opted to withdraw their opposition last week.

“We didn’t want to fight it,” Jimmy Nice said.

Olsen has already received a disinterment permit from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and has found a funeral home to do the work.

Jim Meservy, Olsen’s lawyer in Jerome, Idaho, said he expects to receive paperwork by early next week from the Nice family, allowing the disinterment from the plot they own at Sunset Memorial. Olsen said she was uncertain when her son’s body would finally be moved to the Mackay cemetery, where in addition to her three murdered children, her grandfather is also buried.

Jim Junior Nice is serving a life sentence at an Idaho state prison in Orofino. After he killed his three children, he told police he “didn’t want the kids to suffer through the divorce.”

Leslie Olsen, now a student at a Twin Falls college, says he killed them in part to retaliate against her, because she declined to reconcile their marriage.

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