The troubled life of Sage Christensen, who was born in the Ukraine and adopted by a man who would later be accused of sexual abuse. Christensen would eventually be charged with murder:
"After being taken from Myers, Sage spent the next three years in a blur of foster homes. Myers fought for custody, spending more than $300,000 on attorneys and eventually filing for bankruptcy, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
"In June 2005 Sage was adopted by Dean Christensen and Jane Olingy, a married couple in Wilmington. He became Sage Christensen, his third name in 12 years. A social worker told his new parents about his rough upbringing in the Ukraine and about Myers. Sage, they were informed, had recently torn up every picture he had of Myers. 'When he first moved in with us,' Jane tells me, 'he made sure the doors were locked 24/7, even during the day…. He told us there was always the shadow of a man outside of his window.' At times, Sage went to bed with a knife under his pillow. He had frequent nightmares, and woke his new parents in the middle of the night with his screaming in Russian. Sage’s parents say that he was generally outgoing and playful, but became quiet whenever the subject of Myers arose.
"Still, the couple fell in love with the 12-year-old’s teasing sense of humor, quick mind, and desire to be part of a family. Olingy calls their first three years together 'the honeymoon.' But when Sage hit puberty, the trouble started. Small and skinny, Sage was picked on. A girl shoved him into a locker during his first day at middle school. Bigger students bullied him. 'We told Sage that if you start a fight, we won’t support you,' Christensen says. 'But you have to stand up for yourself.'"
PUBLISHED: Aug. 1, 2012
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5226 words)