Trash collector who called 911 chilled by encounter

Doug Staley, The Independent

Nothing could have prepared Naso Karas for what awaited him the morning of June 5, 2006.      

Karas, a driver for Metro Disposal, stopped at 215 Ninth St. S.W. in Massillon to collect a payment and pick up the trash.

The woman who answered the door was crying. Her baby had died.     

“She kept saying, ‘Not today, not today.’ She kept on crying,” Karas said.

Karas was walking back to his truck when he was approached from behind by the woman’s husband.

The man was holding a cell phone in his trembling hands.

He told Karas that “now’s not a good time,” the baby was dead and his wife “was a mess.”

“He says, ‘I can’t push the button, I can’t do it,’” Karas said. “And he says, ‘I think our baby died.’”

Karas said he grabbed the man’s cell phone and dialed 911.

“The guy was shaking so much I could understand why he couldn’t dial the phone,” he said.

Meanwhile, his partner, Herb Watson, who is trained in infant CPR, ran into the home to offer help.

But it was too late.

“He said the baby’s (ankle) was hard and cold,” Karas said.

Karas said he and his partner sensed something wasn’t right as they discussed the baby’s death on the rest of their route.

“... he was incredibly calm aside from the shaking. There was no quivering or tears in his eyes,” Karas said. “We were just sick to our stomach. We almost couldn’t finish the day.”

The man Karas met that day, Jay Biggs, was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated murder and rape in connection with the death of four-month-old Jaydee Biggs. Biggs remains at the Stark County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

 “It’s about time,” Karas said. “I’m very happy to hear that someone has been charged.”

Neighbors react

That sentiment was shared by customers who frequent the Fast and Friendly Mart, located on Tremont Avenue Southwest across from the Biggs’ former home.

Jaydee’s death had been a topic of conversation in the neighborhood for months.

“It angers me when people hurt innocent things like that,” store clerk Joan Miller said. “It disgusts me how they can hurt a little baby.”

From the beginning, Julie Brown said she suspected Jay Biggs had something to do with Jaydee’s death.

“The day after it happened he was really nervous ... he wasn’t really crying,” she said. “I just kept saying all along that it was him. I knew it. I’m glad it’s over. It’s been a long time.”

Mark Nickol said he’s surprised an arrest wasn’t made sooner because of “the way the circumstances were.”

“I think it’s good,” said John Giannelli. “I kind of let it (case) go by the wayside for a while.”

If Biggs is convicted, Marv Masters said he believes Biggs should get the death penalty.

“I think it was intentional the way they (Biggs) were talking about it,” Masters said.

Mike Manzella, manager of Fast and Friendly, said the couple came into the store daily to buy cigarettes and pop. He described them as “friendly” but said they mostly kept to themselves.

Neighbor Tonia Wiles said she remembers an ambulance pulling up to the Biggs’ residence as she was taking her daughter to school the morning of Jaydee’s death.

“It was shocking because it was so close to home,” she said.