A 15-year-old girl was beaten, imprisoned, and nearly starved to death by her grandfather, Steve Sells, his wife Joetta Sells, and Steve’s daughter Crystal Sells. The girl, who had special needs, was withdrawn from school in 2010 to be homeschooled. The girl’s 4-year-old sibling was not reported to be abused.
Steve Sells got custody of the girl and her sibling in 2009 when their biological mother Jannifer Sells abandoned them. The girl was kept in a locked room day and night with only a mattress and a bucket to relieve herself. When she was rescued she weighed 38 pounds, she was covered with feces, and her bones protruded through her skin.
The abuse came to light when Joetta and Crystal Sells found her unresponsive and waited 3 hours before calling an ambulance. Steve, Joetta, and Crystal were each charged with multiple felonies, including neglect of a dependent, criminal confinement, and battery.
Date: December 1, 2014
Location: Anderson, Indiana