Aiyana Gauvin Chronology p. 1
Chronology of Events: Aiyana Gauvin Case
Note: This chronology was developed in conjunction with the article “First- and Second-
Order Changes in a Community’s Response to a Child Abuse Fatality,” which appears in
Communication Monographs, 2006, Volume 73, Issue 4, pages 481-487. The chronology
is intended for readers seeking more details about the case analyzed in that article. The
chronology was developed from newspaper articles covering the Aiyana Gauvin case as
well as a report from the Greater Lafayette Community Foundation’s describing
community responses to the case; key sources are listed at the end.
December 12, 2000: Aiyana Gauvin born in Lafayette, IN to Cassandra Robinson and
December, 2002: Christian Gauvin and Cassandra Robinson divorce; Aiyana and older
half-brother live with Cassandra.
April, 26 2003: Neglect by Cassandra Robinson is substantiated when 5-year old son is
found walking the streets unsupervised twice within a week.
May 22, 2003: Cassandra appears to be under the influence of drugs during a visit to the
Division of Family and Children (DFC). Lafayette police determine she is not fit to
drive. Child Protective Services (CPS) takes custody of Aiyana, as well as her older half-
brother and younger half-sister, placing them in foster care with her maternal
May 27, 2003: Judge Loretta Rush of Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 finds substantiated
neglect and approves temporary placement of three children with maternal grandparents.
October 22, 2003: Judge Rush orders unsupervised visits between Aiyana and Christian
Gauvin, with the intent of transitioning her into the father’s home, noting that Cassandra
Aiyana Gauvin Chronology p. 2
Robinson has continued to miss scheduled visits with her children and failed multiple
December 6, 2003: Aiyana moves in with Christian Gauvin based on plan recommended
by Aiyana’s court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and approved by the court and
Because Aiyana’s siblings have different biological fathers, they no longer live with
Aiyana, but Judge Rush orders “regular contact” among Aiyana and her siblings.
February 2004: Christian and Aiyana Gauvin move in with his girlfriend, Michelle
Urbanus, and her two older children. Nearly all contact between Aiyana and her
grandparents/siblings ceases, at Michelle’s insistence.
June 5, 2004: Aiyana’s maternal grandmother contacts sheriff’s department after
neighbor sees Aiyana at a grocery story with scratch marks on her face. Sheriff Deputy
Glen Keller visits home; talks at the door with Christian Gauvin and Michelle Urbanus.
Keller reports to radio dispatcher that Aiyana is OK and has no visible marks. No record
of visit is filed with CPS. The Tippecanoe county sheriff’s office received 38 calls
regarding the Urbanus household from 2000-2004, but this was only one of two that
involved a child’s welfare; most were made by Michelle Urbanus herself regarding
disputes with neighbors.
January 2005: Christian Gauvin and Michelle Urbanus marry.
January 19, 2005: Governor Mitch Daniels creates new Department for Child Services
that will oversee CPS agencies throughout the state. Judge James W. Payne named
Aiyana Gauvin Chronology p. 3
February 18, 2005: The father of one of Aiyana’s siblings visits the Urbanus home.
Aiyana appears sad and listless; he notices bald spots on Aiyana’s head. He shares this
with Cassandra Robinson, who contacts Tippecanoe DFC alleging that Aiyana is being
abused by Michelle Urbanus. The report is “screened” by a CPS case manager and not
investigated because “inappropriate discipline does not meet legal sufficiency for CPS to
March 16, 2005: Sheriff’s deputies respond to a 911 call from the Urbanus home and
find 4-year old Aiyana dead. Police find bruises all over Aiyana’s body. Michelle
Urbanus Gauvin tells police she occasionally struck Aiyana with a broken cutting board
and put her to bed bound and gagged. Christian Gauvin admits he did not seek medical
treatment for his daughter because he feared being arrested for abuse.
March 19, 2005: An autopsy reveals Aiyana died from a head injury and blunt force
March 23, 2005: Michelle Urbanus Gauvin charged with murder; Christian Gauvin
charged with neglect in connection with a child’s death (a felony).
March-April 2005: Citing the Aiyana Gauvin case among others, Gary, James W. Payne
tells state legislators the Indiana CPS system is in trauma. General Assembly passes
legislation allowing the state to hire 200 new CPS case managers as of July 1, 2005.
Another 400 are to be added by July 2008, doubling the current staff.
April 8, 2005: Jim Klusman, President and CEO of the Greater Lafayette Community
Foundation, writes a guest editorial in Lafayette Journal and Courier. He cautions
against “finger pointing” and announces the foundation will “seek solutions to the
Aiyana Gauvin Chronology p. 4
problems of child abuse and neglect in our community.” He asks citizens to write with
April 27, 2005: A fatality review team determines the February 18, 2005 allegation of
abuse made by Cassandra Roberts should have been investigated. Extensive changes are
made to the screening process and intake function performed by Tippecanoe county CPS.
April-October, 2005: Greater Lafayette Community Foundation sponsors three public
forums on child abuse and neglect. The first provides information about the scope of the
problem; the second focuses on services already in place and those still needed; the third
discusses future directions. Local media provide detailed coverage; the local public radio
station broadcasts the second and third forums live.
November 2, 2005: Tippecanoe prosecutor seeks death penalty in the case of Michelle
November 2-3, 2005: Sheriff’s Deputy Glen Keller resigns after admitting he never saw
Aiyana Gauvin during his June 5, 2004 visit to the Urbanus home, and fabricated his
November 16, 2005: More than 250 community officials and concerned residents attend a
Summit on “Stopping Child Abuse and Neglect.” 40 Developmental Assets model is
December 21, 2005: Former Tippecanoe County sheriff’s deputy, Glen Keller, pleads
guilty to felony perjury; sentenced to six months in jail.
January 1, 2006: Lafayette Journal and Courier staff selects the “death of Aiyana
Gauvin” as #1 local news story in 2005.
Aiyana Gauvin Chronology p. 5
April 18, 2006: Lafayette Greater Community Foundation publishes “Stopping Child-
Abuse Neglect Initiative” which details recommendations/goals from the November 2005
summit and describes current and planned community initiatives.
September 15, 2006: Michelle Urbanus Gauvin avoids the death penalty by pleading
guilty to murder.
October 26, 2006: Michelle Gauvin sentenced to life in prison without parole.
November 2, 2006: A LaPorte Country jury finds Christian Gauvin guilty of Class A
felony neglect of a dependent.
November 2, 2006: The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette sponsors a second
prevent child abuse summit. 350 individuals, including 50 teens, discuss community
efforts to develop assets that children need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
December 15, 2006: Christian Gauvin sentenced to 50 years in prison.
This chronology was developed based on the following sources:
Aiyana Emily Gauvin timeline. (2005, August 4). Lafayette Journal and Courier.
Retrieved May 3, 2006 from www.jconline.com.
Gauvin timeline. (2006, December 16). Lafayette Journal and Courier. Retrieved
December 28, 2006 from www.jconline.com.
Gerrety, J., & Smith, D. (2005, August 4). Few answers, many regrets in 4-year old’s
brutal death. Lafayette Journal and Courier. Retrieved June 14, 2006 from
Greater Lafayette Community Foundation. (2006, April). Stopping child abuse-neglect
initiative: A report on activity in Tippecanoe County. Retrieved May 15, 2006