Benson, Emery, and Zion Strack

Benson (age 14, left), Emery (age 12, center), and Zion Strack (age 11, right) were victims of a murder-suicide committed by their parents, Benjamin and Kristi Strack. The children were homeschooled.

The Stracks suffered from mental illness—one of them had substance abuse problems, and Kristi had severe depression. The children were poisoned by their parents, who then killed themselves. The children knew that they were going to die—Benson left a goodbye note for one of his friends. The Stracks’ bodies were discovered by the children’s older brother, Janson McGee.

Date: September 27, 2014
Springville, Utah Continue reading

Jackie Zudis

jackie zudis
Thi My Lan Nguyen, born c.1967 and later known as Jackie Zudis, was sexually assaulted for decades by her adoptive father, George Joseph England (who used the alias Stephen Arthur Seagoe). He kept her in school until she was a teenager—homeschooling became an option around that time, and England pulled Zudis from school, claiming to be homeschooling.

The abuse came to light when Zudis went to authorities nearly 15 years after she escaped from England. In 2011, England was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Date: May 2005
West Palm Beach, Florida Continue reading

Grayson Bell

grayson bellernest bell and kristen downs
Grayson Bell, age 11, who went by ‘Blayne’, was physically abused by his father, Ernest W. Bell III, and his stepmother Kristen M. Downs. Blayne had been removed from school in 2012 to be homeschooled, although Bell and Downs “never followed the appropriate program nor registered the home schooling with the state for approval.”

The abuse came to light when the boy ran away from home and was reported missing. When he was found, authorities noticed bruises and interviewed the boy. Bell and Downs were charged with physical child abuse and neglect.

Date: October 14, 2014
Plain Dealing, Louisiana Continue reading

5 children of Charles and Suzan Sealock

charles and suzan sealock
Three children, a 9-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy, and a 6-year-old boy, were tortured by their adoptive parents, Charles and Suzan Sealock. The Sealocks’ biological child, a 14-year-old boy, and an adopted 3-year-old child were not abused. The children were homeschooled.

The seven-year-old boy was imprisoned in a bathroom for days at a time with only baby food to eat. He was also beaten, pinched and bitten by his parents. The other two children showed similar previous injuries. The abuse came to light when the 7-year-old boy escaped and went to a neighbor for help. The Sealocks were charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment.

Date: August 30, 2014
Dandridge, Tennessee Continue reading

5 children of Robert Simons and Mary Tittle

robert simons mary tittle
Five children, ages 7 to 13, were neglected and denied medical care by their parents, Robert H. Simons III and Mary Ella Tittle. The children’s grandmother, Roberta Sauls, knew about the neglect and did nothing. A woman who lived with the family, Leona Patricia Bentler, also knew about the neglect and did nothing. Her 8-year-old daughter was also neglected. Simons and Tittle evaded social services for years, telling officials in Tennessee that they were homeschooling in Pennsylvania, and telling officials in Pennsylvania that they were homeschooling in Tennessee. Although Tittle tried to teach the kids what little she knew, she was not successful and the children could not read or write, did not know their ages or last names, and could not brush their teeth or hold a pencil.

The oldest girl was suffering from advanced kidney disease and an infected rat bite when an anonymous tip brought social services to the door. She recovered after a kidney transplant and the children began to attend school in their foster home. Simons and Tittle were each found guilty on two counts of aggravated child neglect. Simons was sentenced to 18 years in prison; Tittle got 17 years. Charges against Bentler were dropped.

Date: April 22, 2010
Jonesborough, Tennessee Continue reading

Daughter of Kevin and Theresa Carothers

kevin and theresa carothers
A 15-year-old girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her stepfather, Kevin Carothers, and her mother Theresa Carothers, over the course of three years. The girl was homeschooled in online classes. A “witness”, possibly an adult sibling of the girl, also described being sexually assaulted by Kevin Carothers.

Kevin Carothers, a registered sex offender who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in 1997, married Theresa in 2006. Kevin began to assault the girl in summer 2009; in December 2009 both Kevin and Theresa began assaulting the girl together. The abuse came to light when the girl disclosed it to her grandmother, whom the Carotherses lived with. The grandmother then found nude photos of the girl on a camera and called social services.

Kevin Carothers pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child and Theresa Carothers pleaded guilty to assault and attempted sexual assault of a child.

Date: August 17, 2012
Denver, Colorado Continue reading

Katelyn Pendleton

katelyn pendleton
Jamie Leighanna Brooks, age 11 (who later changed her name to Katelyn Colbie Pendleton), was starved, beaten, and scalded by her caregivers, Kizza Monika Lopez and Melonea Feagin. Lopez had pulled Jamie out of school to homeschool her. It is unclear whether Lopez’s other children were abused.

When she was 9, Jamie’s biological mother Velma Hare gave her to Lopez. Lopez and Feagin, her babysitter, whipped Jamie with plastic coat hangers, threw scalding water on her, alternatively starved and force-fed her, and made her sleep in a closet. An anonymous tip brought the authorities to rescue Jamie.

Lopez and Feagin were convicted of child abuse. Lopez was also charged with neglect and sentenced to 20 years in prison; Feagin got 15. Jamie was adopted into the Pendleton family and changed her name to Katelyn.

Date: May 8, 2008
Fort Walton Beach, Florida Continue reading

Children by Timothy and Karen Tolin

tolin parentstolins
Three boys, ages 12, 14, and 19, with severe mental and physical disabilities, along with three disabled adults, were neglected by their adoptive parents, Timothy and Karen “Sue” Tolin. The children were homeschooled.

The 19-year-old was autistic and legally blind and was imprisoned naked in a locked crib. There had been previous social services involvement regarding the children being educationally neglected, but HSLDA had intervened and agreed to perform home visits to monitor the children. These visits were apparently not conducted.

The Tolins were charged with unlawful imprisonment and vulnerable adult abuse.

Date: October 20, 2014
Paris Township, Michigan Continue reading

Boy by Michael Krause

michael alvin krause
C.H., a 12-year-old boy, was groomed and forced to appear in pornography by Michael Alvin Krause, his homeschool teacher.

Krause befriended the boy’s mother, Misty Hebert, and grandmother Nancy Hunt, claiming that he had been “a Pentecostal preacher and had helped ‘problem teens’ by home-schooling them.” Hebert pulled C.H. from school after he experienced problems and engaged Krause to be C.H.’s homeschool teacher. Eventually C.H. began living with Krause in his trailer, where Krause took nude photos of C.H.

The abuse came to light when Krause took C.H. on a trip to Wisconsin and Hebert was informed by Wisconsin authorities that Krause had previously been investigated for “possession of child pornography and abuse of two other boys,” the 10- and 11-year-old sons of his former roommate Betty Baum. Hebert entered Krause’s trailer and found computers containing nude photos of C.H. and the two other boys. She turned the evidence over to the Texas authorities.

Krause was found guilty of possession of child pornography and indecency with a child sexual contact. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Date: December 8, 2003
Gilchrist, Texas Continue reading

2 children of Brenda Frazier

johnnie and ladonna stilwell
An 11-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl were tortured by their grandparents, LaDonna (right) and Johnny Stilwell, and their mother Brenda Frazier (not pictured), using an electric cattle prod. The boy was also locked in his room with a bucket for a toilet. The children were homeschooled.

The abuse came to light when the boy informed social services about it. The Stilwells and Frazier were charged with and convicted of child abuse. LaDonna Stilwell was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but her sentence was suspended. Johnny Stilwell was sentenced to 20 years of probation. Frazier was sentenced to 15 years of probation.

Date: November 2002
Enid, Oklahoma Continue reading

Children by George Johnston, 4 others

raymond lambert
At least 6 children were ritually sexually assaulted by George Otis Johnston (right, sometimes identified as ‘Johnson’), the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church North, and four elders at its sister church Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church: pastor Raymond Lambert (left), his wife Patty Lambert, and her brothers Paul and Tom Epling. All the children in Grandview Valley compound were homeschooled at the Grand Valley Christian Academy. Some of the abuse occurred while Johnston was tutoring one of the children in algebra.

The abuse came to light in May 2006 when eight members of the commune walked away from the church with no money or physical belongings. One of the women told authorities about abuses that had taken place at the compound. In August 2006, the approximately 20 children who remained at the compound were taken into custody by social services. Johnston and the others were charged with a number of felonies; however, all of the charges were eventually dropped due to witnesses’ being unwilling to testify, the statute of limitations being invoked (some of the abuse had occurred in the 1970s and 1980s), and the victims’ desire to avoid further victimization in court.

Date: August 24, 2006
Granby, Missouri; Pineville, Missouri Continue reading

5 children by Patrick and Sherry Kelley

Five children, girls aged 15, 14, and 6 and boys aged 13 and 11, were burned, beaten, starved, and imprisoned by their adoptive parents, Patrick (center) and Sherry Kelley. Their grandparents, George and Shirley Long, knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it. After the children were withdrawn from school when the family moved to Big Lake, “the Kelleys soon gave up trying to home school them.”

The children were placed with the Kelleys in 1998 after being removed from their parents, who were substance abusers. They were forced to work outside 20 hours a day. They were beaten with metal pipes and shovels. They were sometimes forced to sleep outside in the Alaska winter with no heat. The younger boy, who now goes by T.J. White (pictured at right), suffered burns over a large part of his body which went untreated; he also lost a finger to frostbite and had his arm broken by a beating. The children were locked in bedrooms and tied to beds; the older boy was chained to a tree and imprisoned in a coffin-like sealed box. They were punished for eating and deprived of food.

The abuse came to light when George Long called the police after one of the children received a particularly vicious beating. Sherry and Patrick Kelley were each charged with 9 felonies and 34 misdemeanors; in a later plea agreement they Sherry pleaded no contest to assault and criminal nonsupport while Patrick pleaded no contest to child endangerment. In November 2006 they were sentenced to time served. George Long was convicted of assault and sentenced to time served.

Date: July 9, 2004
Big Lake, Wasilla, Alaska Continue reading

Judah Cobble

Judah Cobble, age 12, was repeatedly spanked with a belt by his father, Donald Cobble, a minister at the Christian Teaching and Worship Center. Judah’s teachers reported suspected abuse to social services, who found that there was substantial risk to Judah, who had ADD and “arthrogryposis, a congenital muscle condition which require[d] him to wear braces on his back and legs.” However, Judah’s case was closed shortly thereafter. Donald Cobble then withdrew his son from school to homeschool him. He later sued social services and won.

Date: March 1997
Woburn, Massachusetts Continue reading

Amber Nicklas

amber nicklas
Amber Rose Nicklas, age 13 months, was abducted from her foster parents in Norwalk, California in September 2003 by three of her teenage biological aunts. Though two of the girls were caught, the third managed to escape with Amber, who was missing for seven years. Amber was raised by a loving Romany family in Arizona who did not know she had been abducted—they were told that her drug addict mother had given her up. However, they did not have any identifying paperwork for her, so she could not be enrolled in school. Instead she was homeschooled in the Romany tradition, although when she was found she could not read or write, although she was bilingual in English and Romany (mistakenly identified in several news sources as ‘Romanian’).

She was discovered in 2010 after police received a tip about her whereabouts; she was subsequently returned to her foster parents.

Date: July 14, 2010
Phoenix, Arizona Continue reading

7 children of JoAnn and Michael McGuckin

Seven children—Erina (age 19, right), Kathryn (16), Benjamin (14), Mary (13), James (11), Frederick (9), and Jane (8)—were starved and neglected by their parents, Michael and JoAnn McGuckin (center). All were homeschooled.

Both Michael and JoAnn suffered from mental illness, and the family lived in poverty completely off the grid. The children subsisted mainly on lily pads and pond water; the house was filled with garbage. Erina, the oldest, was primarily responsible for homeschooling the children and caring for her youngest sister. Erina left home in 2000 to join the military but was medically discharged due to complications of long-term malnourishment. Then, in May 2001, Michael McGuckin died of malnourishment after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. These events prompted Erina to report the family. When authorities arrived to remove the children, a five-day standoff ensued.

JoAnn McGuckin was arrested on charges of child injury which were later dismissed. She was reunited with her children in 2002.

Date: May 29, 2001
Sandpoint, Idaho Continue reading

Children of Peter Hansen

peter hansen
A 13-year-old boy was starved and imprisoned in a bathroom by his father, Peter D. Hansen. The boy’s 10-year-old sister was also starved. Both were homeschooled.

After the Hansens were evicted from their home in 2009, they took up residence in their Seventh-Day Adventist church. Hansen kept his children on a strict vegetarian diet with two meals per day. As punishment for disobedience, the boy was repeatedly locked in a cold church bathroom with no light, sometimes for over a week at a time.

The abuse was discovered after a call to the child abuse hotline. The courts did not find enough evidence to convict Hansen for food deprivation, but he was convicted for the imprisonment. He was sentenced to three years in prison but only served 100 days. The children’s mother, who lived with them, was not charged.

Date: November 2009
Springfield, Missouri Continue reading

9 boys by Nathan and Tammy Jessop

nathan jessop
Nine boys, ages 12 to 17, were beaten, starved, and imprisoned by Nathan Jessop. All were current or former members of the FLDS who had been sent by their parents to live with Jessop due to their supposed disobedience; several of the boys did not know what they had done to be sent there and one reported that he had been sent away for exchanging text messages with a girl. Tammy Jessop, one of Nathan’s stepmothers, homeschooled the boys, although “education appeared to stop when the boys were old enough to pursue a GED diploma.”

Some of the boys had been with Jessop since late 2012, when they had lived in Wyoming. In early 2013 they moved to Idaho, where Tammy and two girls, ages 20 and 16, joined them in an adjoining home. One of the boys was Nathan Jessop’s son, age 16; three were his stepsons; and three others were his nephews. The boys were beaten with boards and brooms; pantries were kept locked and the boys were not allowed to eat breakfast unless they woke up by 6 am. The boys were punished by being sent out into the cold without jackets and one of the boys was imprisoned for two days in a furnace room. The boys were also exploited for their labor, being forced to work without pay making furniture for Jessop to sell.

The abuse came to light when one of the boys ran away and reported it to Holding Out Help, a group that assists people leaving polygamous families. The other eight boys were removed from the home by social services. Two of these, brothers, chose to remain in foster care, while the other six were returned to their parents. Jessop pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor injury to a child: one from his imprisonment of the boy in the furnace room, and two from his failure to report to the authorities that both his son and the boy who contacted HOH had run away. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Date: July 10, 2014
Big Piney, Wyoming; Pocatello, Idaho Continue reading

3 children of Pamela Christensen

pamela christensen
Three girls, ages 19, 16, and 12, were physically assaulted by their mother, Pamela Christensen, in an attempt to murder them. Their father, former pastor Vaughn Christensen, was abusive and controlling of his wife and children, and Pamela was seeking a divorce from him when he called her and ordered her to kill the children. All three girls were homeschooled.

After receiving her husband’s message, Pamela Christensen dressed the girls all in white “to meet Jesus” and tried to get them to drink poison. The girls refused and one called the police; Christensen managed to stab two of the girls and herself before authorities arrived. Christensen was charged with three counts of attempted murder.

Date: September 25, 2014
Montgomery, Illinois Continue reading

Raashanai Coley

raashanai coley
Raashanai Coley, age 11 (left), was starved and beaten to death by her mother, Nicholette Lawrence (right). Her stepfather Robert Lawrence, who lived in the home, has not been charged. Raashanai was homeschooled and, according to some reports, autistic. Her two younger half-siblings attended school and were apparently not abused.

Around the time of Raashanai’s 2003 birth in Oregon, Nicholette Lawrence lost custody of her first child, a boy, and pleaded guilty to transporting an underage girl across state lines to engage in prostitution. After child services began investigating Lawrence for exposing Raashanai to her adult business, Lawrence signed over guardianship of Raashanai to her own father and stepmother. Lawrence reclaimed her daughter in 2007 when she moved to Texas with her new husband Robert Lawrence; the family moved to Illinois shortly thereafter. In August 2011 Robert Lawrence was charged with battering Raashanai but he continued to live in the home. In June 2012 Raashanai was withdrawn from school to be homeschooled. The family’s neighbors did not know that Raashanai was living in the home, although they frequently saw her siblings.

Raashanai died September 5 after Nicholette Lawrence struck her in the abdomen on September 3, rupturing her stomach. She did not seek medical attention for her daughter. Raashanai weighed 55 lbs. at the time of her death. Lawrence was charged with first-degree murder and her other children were removed from the home.

Date: September 5, 2014
Waukegan, Illinois Continue reading

Charlie Bothuell V

charlie bothuell
Charlie Bothuell V, age 12, was physically and emotionally abused by his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell. Dillard-Bothuell also imprisoned Charlie in the basement for eleven days without food. Dillard-Bothuell’s other two children, 4-year-old Charles Luc Bothuell and 10-month-old Lillian Monique Bothuell, were also neglected. Charlie was homeschooled.

Charlie had lived with his father since 2012. Bothuell forced Charlie to complete an extreme daily exercise regimen and beat him regularly with a PVC pipe. When he was rescued, Charlie had a large scar on his chest from the beatings. Dillard-Bothuell also punched Charlie and threatened to kill him. On June 14, as punishment for Charlie’s failure to complete his exercise routine, Dillard-Bothuell forced him to hide behind a barricade in the basement without food or water, threatening to harm him if he came out. The boy’s father reported him missing and police searched for Charlie until he was found in the basement on June 25.

On June 26, Dillard-Bothuell was arrested on an unrelated charge until police could gather enough evidence to file charges of child abuse against the couple. All three children were removed from the home by social services.

Date: June 25, 2014
Detroit, Michigan Continue reading

Justin Carlos, and 6 siblings

julie and mark carlos
Justin Gerard Carlos, age 14, was starved and medically neglected by his parents, Mark S. Carlos and Julie L. Carlos. Justin died of pneumonia and sepsis complicated by malnutrition; when he died he was emaciated, covered with bedsores, and showed signs of traumatic brain injury. Justin’s 16-year-old brother was also medically neglected during a similar illness. Justin and his six siblings (Shannon; Michael, 22; Therese, 19; Matthew, 16; Colette, 12; and Maura, 11) were all homeschooled and “cut off from the world”; police reported that they “all appeared thin and not properly cared for…with messy hair and disheveled clothes.”

Michael Carlos called 911 when Justin lost consciousness. He and Matthew were taken to the hospital while the two youngest girls were taken into social services’ custody. The Carloses pleaded not guilty to “negligent cruelty and risk of injury to a minor”. Prosecutions are still ongoing.

Date: May 2, 2013
Norwich, Connecticut Continue reading

Girl by Leonard Pratt

leonard pratt
A 16-year-old girl was raped daily by her stepfather, karate instructor Leonard Pratt, who sometimes filmed the assaults. The abuse started when she was 13, about two weeks after her mother, Lorena Pratt, married him in April 2001. Lorena Pratt was emotionally abused by her husband and did not know about the girl’s sexual abuse. Pratt repeatedly forced the girl to miss school so that he could assault her; after she failed ninth grade, she was homeschooled.

Social services received six reports of abuse, including one from the girl’s biological father, but the girl always denied the allegations out of fear of her stepfather. Social services had also received reports of Pratt abusing his biological children, but they could not find evidence to substantiate them.

In September 2003, the girl fatally shot her father in the head while he slept. She was “charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon”; however, “a grand jury decided not to indict” her and she was removed to the custody of her biological father.

Date: September 23, 2003
Elgin, Texas Continue reading

9 children of Peter Lucas Moses Jr.

peter lucas moses
Nine children ages 8 and under were abused by their father, Peter Lucas Moses Jr., and his three wives Vania Rae Sisk (second from left), Lavada Quinzetta Harris (far right), and Larhonda Renee Smith (second from right). Four of the children were Sisk’s and five were Harris’. The children were homeschooled and home-churched in the cult-like Black Hebrews church.

In October 2010, Moses murdered Sisk’s 4-year-old son Jadon Higganbothan—the only one of the children who was not biologically his. In December 2010, Moses ordered Sisk to murder Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, another of his wives, because she could not have children. In February 2011, another of Moses’ wives (who was not publicly identified) escaped and reported the murders to the police. She also reported witnessing “horrific” abuse of the children. Moses and his family immediately fled the state to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Teller County social services found them and removed the children February 23.

Moses and his wives then moved back to Durham, North Carolina, where he was arrested on unrelated charges until the police could find evidence of the murders. They finally located Higganbothan’s and McKoy’s remains in June 2011 and charged Moses with first-degree murder. His wives were also charged. Moses pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty; as a result, he was not tried, so the specific nature of the abuse of the other children was never made public. However, neighbors reported that the children were “rarely seen” and, according to police, they were required to call their father “Lord” and were afraid of him, fearing that he would do to them “what he did to Jadon”.

Moses was sentenced to life in prison. Sisk was sentenced to 30 years, Smith to 24, and Harris to 12.

Date: February 23, 2011
Durham, North Carolina Continue reading

16 children of Richard Jay Swank

richard jay swank
Sixteen children were physically abused and deprived of food by their father, Richard Jay Swank. The fourth child, a boy born around 1985, was Swank’s scapegoat; he was tortured, imprisoned, and sexually abused for 18 years. The children’s mother, Monita Swank, was “also a victim of physical abuse and possibly spousal rape [and] was not aware of the sexual abuse of her son.” After school officials repeatedly called social services about the children’s bruises, Swank pulled them from school to homeschool them around 1992, although “there were no books or worksheets” and little instruction actually took place. Swank’s daughter Melissa (b. 1982) was put in charge of caring for the younger children; by the time she was 18, she only knew basic addition and subtraction.

Swank was a substitute teacher, public school psychologist, and published author. He referred to the child who was his main victim as an “abomination” and abused him beginning around age 4. Swank forced the boy to spend every day standing in a corner, and the boy was forced to sleep handcuffed to various objects or imprisoned in a box at night. The boy was only allowed to eat table scraps and was not allowed to interact with the other children. Swank constantly beat the boy with a variety of objects and often knocked him unconscious. At one point he broke the boy’s nose, permanently injuring him, and did not seek medical attention for him. Swank also frequently tortured the boy by attaching vice grips to his genitals. When the boy was 10, his father began raping him twice a week.

As each of the children reached the age of 18, they left home and joined the military to escape. In 2005, Joshua Swank (b. 1980) died of an accidental overdose; his father “collected $500,000 on [his] Army life insurance policy and bought a sports car.” The Swanks divorced around this time and Monita took custody of the seven children who remained at home. These events prompted Melissa to persuade her little brother, Swank’s main victim, to report the abuse to the police. He did so in March 2009.

Swank was found guilty of 11 counts of sexual abuse and one count of physical abuse. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Date: March 12, 2009
Victorville, California Continue reading

15 children of Bill and Debbie Rettew

bill rettew
Fifteen adopted special-needs children of Bill and Debbie Rettew were physically abused, medically neglected, and denied food as punishment. The Rettews had adopted at least nine other special-needs children over the years in addition to their biological daughter Deborah Autumn Rettew (age 24) and Debbie’s biological son from an earlier marriage, Wilbur Beddingfield (age 32). All the children were privately adopted. The Rettews were conservative Christians and homeschooled all their children but one.

The Rettews first came to the attention of social services in November 1998 when one of their adolescent adopted children ran away from home and refused to return, citing physical abuse by Bill Rettew. The court ordered an evaluation of the Rettew children in June 2000; when the evaluation panel returned its review in November 2001, the children were removed. Some of the adult children who no longer lived with the Rettews reported being “slammed into walls, whipped with a belt, and thrown down stairs.” They “did not have their own toothbrushes, [and] were bathed only once a week.” The food storage area was kept locked—when they were rescued, “the children had voracious appetites and commented on the availability of food in the new home”. One of the girls told the authorities that “she was a surrogate mother, waking up at 5 a.m. to feed and clothe the other children.” The children did not receive adequate medical, dental, and mental health care.

In February 2002, as part of a deal to get some of their children back, the Rettews agreed to a court order that found that “they physically and educationally neglected their 15 children.” The court ordered that most of the children be enrolled in public or private school, that they be allowed ample socialization time as decided by the in-home therapy team, and that they be provided with any medical care or therapy advised by social services. At least three of the children asked that they not be returned to the Rettews; it is not clear how many eventually returned.

Date: November 8, 2001
Greer, Greenville County, South Carolina Continue reading

Child of Recardo and Therian Wimbush

recardo and therian wimbush
Recardo Wimbush Jr., at age 13 the oldest of Recardo Sr. and Therian Wimbush’s ten children, was locked in a lightless basement room for almost two years with only a bucket for a toilet. His siblings were not abused. All 10 children were homeschooled; however, Recardo Jr. had not received any instruction since he was locked in the basement.

The Wimbushes claimed that the boy had been imprisoned for running away and molesting his younger siblings; however, the boy reported that he was being punished for lying and stealing a DVD. Although the Wimbushes were highly educated—Recardo Sr. had played football for Georgia Tech and later finished his degree; Therian was former military had a degree in mechanical engineering—they were also members of a strict religious movement called the Way of Yah, which forbids members to celebrate holidays.

The abuse came to light when an anonymous tip brought social services to the Wimbushes’ home. The Wimbushes were charged with child cruelty and false imprisonment.

Date: June 16, 2014
Buford, Georgia Continue reading

Son of Daniel Ballard

A 14-year-old boy was medically neglected and deprived of food by his father, Daniel Ballard, who claimed to be homeschooling him. However, when the boy was rescued, he could reportedly only read “at a fourth-grade level and struggle[d] with basic arithmetic”.

Ballard and the boy’s mother, Kalyn Loe, had lived with the boy in Ohio until they split in 2002. Both had custody of the boy; however, he lived with his mother in Phoenix, Arizona until age 10 when she sent him to New Orleans, Louisiana for a short visit with Ballard in summer 2005. Ballard apparently used the confusion caused by Hurricane Katrina a few months later to abduct the boy, whom he did not allow to contact his mother for four more years. Father and son moved frequently, living in several apartments and RVs and once an abandoned building. Ballard did not take the boy to a doctor during this time: when he was rescued, the boy had several untreated broken bones which had healed improperly and a severe foot infection. The boy also had welts on his back and patches of missing hair. He weighed 60 lbs. when he was found in a feces-filled RV which had no food and no running water.

The abuse came to light in September 2009 when a police officer serving an eviction notice found the boy in the RV. Ballard, who had an outstanding warrant in New Mexico for drugs, was charged with cruelty to a juvenile. The boy was sent back to his mother.

Date: September 9, 2009
Toca, Louisiana Continue reading

Children of Martin and Kathleen O’Brien

Six children, ages 9 to 17, were abused by their adoptive parents, Martin and Kathleen O’Brien. Some of the children were homeschooled. The O’Briens’ three biological children (an adult daughter, Diane, and two minor sons) were not abused and were sometimes forced to participate in the abuse.

Four of the children were biological siblings from Russia and two of them were from Guatemala. Following the children’s adoption in 2004, they were subjected to 7 years of abuse, including: being stabbed, sprayed with pepper spray, kicked in the groin, strangled, slapped, forced to stand naked outside in the cold while their family ate dinner inside, deprived of food, imprisoned in a room for days, and forced to kneel for hours on sharp rocks.

The abuse came to light when the children reported it to social services in August 2011. The O’Briens were each charged with 10 counts of felony child abuse as well as several misdemeanors.

Date: August 3, 2011
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Continue reading

Children of Kelleen Murray-Auguste

A 10-year-old boy was starved by his mother, Kelleen Deon Murray-Auguste. One of the boy’s eight siblings, a 9-year-old girl, was also 20 percent below her normal body weight. The children were homeschooled.

When the boy was rescued, he weighed 35 lbs. and was “extremely dirty, filthy, hair was matted”. The abuse came to light when the boy escaped from his home and went begging for food at a neighbor’s house. Murray-Auguste claimed that the boy had lived with his father in Haiti until about a month prior and that he had been delivered to her in his malnourished condition. She reported that she had tried to feed him but he couldn’t eat, and that she did not have the resources to get him medical attention.

Murray-Auguste was arrested on charges of “aggravated child abuse/torture and child neglect causing great harm” and pleaded no contest in August 2008. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Date: June 9, 2007
Port St. Lucie, Florida Continue reading

Antonio Rader

mary rader and deana beighley
Antonio Rader, age 7, was beaten, starved, and tortured by his mother, Mary Rader (right), and her mother and stepfather, Deana (left) and Dennis Beighley. Antonio’s siblings, 11- and 4-year-old sisters and a 9-year-old brother, were not abused, although his brother was underweight. Antonio had attended public school until fall 2013, “at which time his mother enrolled him in a home-based cyberschool.”

Antonio was pulled from school after teachers reported to social services that the boy was always hungry and that Rader had instructed them not to serve him breakfast. Antonio was beaten with belts for stealing food, forbidden from leaving the house, and forced to sleep on the floor in his own urine. He was not allowed to bathe and had life-threatening abscesses in his teeth. He weighed 24 lbs. when he was rescued.

The abuse came to light when Antonio managed to escape from the house and a neighbor saw him and called the authorities. Rader and the Beighleys were each charged with attempted murder, as well as aggravated assault, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Date: June 6, 2014
Greenville, Pennsylvania Continue reading

3 children of Kate Parker

kate parker
Katherine G. “Kate” Parker had 7 biological children (Megan, 21; Adam, 20; Emily, 14; Sarah and David, 11; Isaac, 9; and Joshua, 7) and 2 adopted children (Bethany, 5; and Hannah, 4; adopted from the Ukraine in 2010). Parker medically abused Joshua, Bethany, and Hannah by lying to doctors and inventing or causing illness or injury. The other children also underwent numerous procedures for medical conditions which were not independently diagnosed. Parker’s husband, Charley Parker, was not aware of the abuse. The children were homeschooled.

Joshua (who had spina bifida) and Bethany and Hannah (who both had Down syndrome) all underwent unnecessary surgeries beginning in 2007 as a result of Parker’s abuse. In late 2012, Hannah was “re-homed.” Parker also capitalized on her lies about the children’s illnesses to fraudulently solicit charitable donations online. When Joshua was hospitalized in September 2013, doctors grew suspicious of Parker’s negative response to news that Joshua’s condition was improving. After Parker’s friend notified social services, Parker coached her other children in how to respond to social workers’ questions. The minor children were removed from Parker’s home.

Parker was arrested on April 1, 2014 for “24 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, four counts of first-degree assault, one count of child abandonment, four counts of computer crime, four counts of identity theft, five counts of witness tampering and one count of recklessly endangering another.”

Date: September 2013
Grants Pass, Oregon Continue reading

2 children of Jessica Botzko and John Westover

john westover and jessica botzko
Two boys, ages 10 and 5, were locked in cages by their parents, Jessica Botzko and John Westover, as punishment for stealing food and whenever Westover was making drugs. The older boy was also sometimes forced to wear a dog’s shock collar; he had previously been “removed from the home in 1998 when Botzko was charged with child endangering.” Westover was wanted on child endangering charges stemming from a report of the family living in a filthy hotel room in Maumee, Ohio in 2004. The older boy had attended school until December 2003 but Botzko then pulled him from school, later telling police she was homeschooling him. “Toledo Public Schools has no record of either boy enrolled in the district or their parents applying for home-schooling.” The family moved frequently to avoid the authorities and the boys were not allowed to leave the house. Westover and Botzko also had a daughter who had died, reportedly of SIDS, several years before.

The abuse came to light in May 2007 when the boys were left alone and escaped to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor alerted police. Westover and Botzko both pleaded no contest to child endangering and were sentenced to four years in prison.

Date: May 1, 2007
Toledo, Ohio Continue reading

Child of August and Jeanine Halbesleben

Tommy Halbesleben, age 10, was starved by his father, August James Halbesleben, and his stepmother Jeanine Marie Halbesleben, from the summer of 1999—when the Halbeslebens began homeschooling him due to “conflicts with his second grade teacher and school officials”—until February 2000. Jeanine had been convicted in 1999 of misdemeanor injury to a child after she hit Tommy’s older brother and ruptured his eardrum.

The Halbeslebens had attended a parenting class where “they were taught that food limitations could be used as a form of discipline.” When Tommy began misbehaving, they limited his food intake to oatmeal, rice, noodles, and beans. The Halbeslebens claimed not to realize their son was starving, believing he was on a healthy diet. After he was rescued, Tommy gained 6 lbs. in the first 24 hours.

The abuse came to light after an anonymous tip brought officials to the Halbeslebens’ home on a welfare check and declared Tommy in immediate danger. The Halbeslebens were convicted of felony injury to a child on November 3, 2000, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Their conviction was overturned in 2003 and they were re-tried. In a plea agreement to avoid further jail time, August Halbesleben “pleaded guilty to two charges of misdemeanor injury to a child and Jeanine Halbesleben pleaded guilty to one felony charge of injury to a child.”

Date: February 2000
Boise, Idaho Continue reading

2 children of Emily Miller

Two boys, ages 10 and 9, were removed from the custody of their adoptive mother, Emily Miller, after the younger boy—who had cerebral palsy—was found tied to a urine-filled bucket in the basement. Clad only in a t-shirt and tied by a dog leash, he had been there for at least a day. The older boy, who had learning disabilities, was apparently unharmed. Both were homeschooled and had been pulled from school.

Miller, a longtime foster and adoptive mother of special-needs children, had previously had two of her children die: in January 1993, her 4-month-old adopted daughter Ieisha Dyson had died of a severe birth defect, and in April 1995 Miller’s 2-year-old adopted son DuJuan Miller had died of supposed SIDS. Earlier in 1999, a baby Miller was fostering was found to have injuries consistent with abuse.

Due to lack of evidence of abuse, Miller was not charged.

Date: November 1, 1999
Detroit, Michigan Continue reading

Daughter of Arletha and Anthony Hopkins

anthony hopkins
The daughter of Arletha Hopkins was repeatedly raped by her stepfather Rev. Anthony Hopkins, a traveling evangelist, starting in 2001 when she was 11 and continuing until she ran away from home at age 19. When Arletha discovered the abuse, Anthony murdered her and forced her daughter to help him hide her body. Anthony continued to rape his stepdaughter and when she escaped in July 2008 she was pregnant with his child. The girl’s seven siblings (six of whom were Anthony’s biological children) were not abused. The girl had been pulled out of school in fifth grade to be homeschooled by Anthony, and he also homeschooled the other children. When he began raping his stepdaughter, he used Bible stories to convince her it was normal.

The Hopkinses originally lived in Whatley, GA, but moved quickly to Jackson, AL where the girl attended school and the first rape occurred. After she was pulled from school the family moved to Mobile, AL, then New Orleans, Louisiana, then back to Mobile where Arletha was murdered December 4, 2004. Arletha’s body was first buried in Jackson, then Anthony forced the girl to help him move her mother’s body to a freezer in their Mobile home, where it remained until 2008. Arletha had given birth to her eighth child on November 21, 2004; Anthony told people that his wife had died in childbirth. She was never reported missing.

The abuse came to light when the girl reported it first to a minister she knew, then to police. Hopkins was found guilty of murder, sodomy, rape, incest and sexual abuse. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Date: December 4, 2004; July 28, 2008
Jackson, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; Wadley, Georgia; New Orleans, Louisiana Continue reading

Siblings of Andrew Wells

Andrew Keith Wells, 20, sexually assaulted 8 of his 9 siblings. His parents, Brian and Janelle Wells, knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Andrew Wells had been homeschooled and had only a fifth-grade education, as well as “numerous mental issues.” His younger siblings were all being homeschooled at the time of his arrest.

The abuse came to light when Wells walked into the Burlington police station and confessed to having molested his siblings for the past eight or nine years. He also confessed to possessing a large amount of child pornography.

Brian and Janelle Wells were each charged with two counts of child endangerment and accepted a plea agreement to avoid prison time by agreeing not to contact their minor children for five years in exchange for two years’ probation. Andrew Wells pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, lascivious acts with a child, and incest, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Date: February 24, 2014
Burlington, Iowa Continue reading

24 children of Paul and Paula Dunham

Paul Dane Dunham and Paula Lee Dunham had 9 biological children and adopted 15 others, including 8 from the Philippines who were obtained through disrupted adoptions. The other 7 children were obtained from private adoption agencies—the Dunhams were not licensed foster parents in Stearns County where they resided. In 2002, 9 of the children were homeschooled. The 15 children who were still minors in late 2008 were removed by social services due to rampant sexual abuse among the siblings.

In late 2005, two of the adopted children admitted to having consensual sex with each other. The Dunhams responded by segregating the boys from the girls and putting locks and alarms on the doors. Then in September 2007 the Dunhams adopted a teenage boy who had previously sexually abused his sister and was prohibited from having contact with younger girls. More abuse came to light in December 2008 when one of the Dunhams’ children reported sexual abuse to a neighbor.

Two of the Dunhams’ biological children—Eric Lamar Dunham, 20, left, and another son who was a minor tried as an adult—were found guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct, and one of their adult adopted sons—Romnick Charael Dunham, 20, right—was found not guilty of the same crime after the victim refused to testify. No charges were filed against the Dunhams, who moved to Florida.

Date: December 2008
Sartell, Minnesota and Holdingford, Minnesota Continue reading

Rainbow Lord, and 2 siblings

Yahweh Lord (born c. 1983), Rainbow Lord (born c. 1985), and Angel Lord (born c. 1988) were abused by their father, John Lamont Davis (who also went by “Rajohn Lord”), their mother Carrie Lee Davis, and Faye Alice Potts, who lived with the Davises. “The boys were schooled at home, but not under any official home-schooling program. Potts taught them English and math.” In spring 1991, 6-year-old Rainbow ate a piece of drywall and became sick, perhaps due to a beating. As the Davises’ extreme religious beliefs were opposed to medical care, they did not seek treatment for Rainbow. After he died, they burned his body.

Yahweh and Angel grew up isolated from the outside world. They were starved, beaten with a “rod of correction”, and sometimes chained to their beds. When they were rescued, they did not know how to eat an apple and they were severely underdeveloped, with “wasted muscles that [made] it difficult for them to walk.” The boys were not allowed to speak unless they were reading from the Bible, were not allowed to use the bathroom, and were only allowed to shower under a cold hose every few months. They were never seen by a doctor.

The abuse came to light in October 2000 when Yahweh called 911. After the boys’ rescue, Yahweh changed his name to Jerry and Angel changed his name to Michael. Jerry was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sadly was murdered in 2003 not far from the group home where he was living.

The Davises and Potts were charged with “two counts each of torture, felony child abuse involving great bodily harm and false imprisonment.” After Rainbow’s remains were discovered, they were also charged with his murder, and John Davis was also charged with raping a “15- or 16-year-old girl in January 1995.” Following these charges, Davis committed suicide in his cell. Carrie Davis pleaded guilty and was sent to a mental institution, and Potts pleaded no contest and was sent to prison.

Date: October 14, 2000
Twentynine Palms, California Continue reading

Son of Christopher and Trina Pope, and 8 siblings

An 8-year-old boy was starved and chained to a bed for a year by his parents, Christopher Shawn Pope and Trina Pope. The boy’s grandmother, Wanda Zavala, knew about the abuse but did nothing because she believed he “was possessed with evil spirits.” The boy’s 7 siblings (ages 10, 9, 6, 4, 3, 20 months and 8 months; Trina Pope was pregnant with her 9th child) were not similarly abused. The boy had previously attended school, “but his father had withdrawn him because of what the father contended were discipline problems and he was being home-schooled.”

The boy was not released even to use the bathroom, and by the time he was found chained to the bed rail the soiled mattress had been removed and he was sleeping on the floor. He also “had some injuries on him,” according to police. The boy weighed 51 lbs. when he was rescued after child services received a tip in April 1999. The other children were not removed until July when the Popes were finally arrested—the police had tried for three months to speak with the other children, but “the parents would not let them speak with police.” Social services had previously been called to the house in May 1997 when the Popes left their children at home to go see a movie.

Christopher and Trina Pope were found guilty of child endangerment and sentenced to 18 months and one year in prison, respectively. Zavala was charged with a misdemeanor.

Date: April 12, 1999
Pasadena, Texas Continue reading

Helen Wells

helen wells
Helen Wells, born c. 1979, was sexually abused by her father, Robert George Wells, starting at age three and ending only when she left home at age 24. Her mother knew about the abuse and did nothing. Helen’s brothers were not abused. Helen was homeschooled and stated “I never went to school. I was homeschooled and I was kept out of school for the purpose of concealing the crime. So I did correspondence to grade six and then no schooling after that. So I am self-educated.”

Helen first reported the abuse in 2004. In 2008, Robert Wells pleaded guilty to 33 charges including indecent treatment of a child and incest. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Date: 2008
Kandanga, Noosa, Tewantin and Cooroy in Queensland, Australia Continue reading

Ariel Winter, and 1 sibling

ariel winter and shanelle gray
Child actress Ariel Winter (born Ariel Winter Workman, right), age 14, was abused by her mother, Chrisoula “Chrystal” Workman. Ariel’s older sister Shanelle Workman Gray (age 34, left) was also abused; she was removed from her mother’s care 20 years previously and placed in foster care. The girls’ brother, Jimmy Workman, was not abused. Ariel was homeschooled starting in second grade, including by private tutors and in online classes.

Court papers filed by Gray described “ongoing physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse (vile name-calling, personal insults about minor and minor’s weight, attempts to ‘sexualize’ minor, deprivation of food, etc.) for an extended period of time.” Ariel’s coworkers observed that Workman would only “allow her daughter to eat egg whites and raw vegetables.”

Ariel was removed from her mother’s care and placed with Gray in late 2012. The guardianship became permanent in 2014. No charges have been filed against Workman.

Date: October 3, 2012
Los Angeles, California Continue reading

Georgia and Patterson Inman

georgia and patterson inman
Twins Georgia Noel Lahi Inman and Walker Patterson Inman III (called ‘Patterson’), born in 1997 to Walker Patterson Inman Jr.—the heir to the Doris Duke fortune—and his fourth wife Daisha Inman (nee Aunday), were starved, imprisoned, and physically abused by their father and stepmother Daralee Inman (nee Steinhausen), as well as by several other caregivers.

Walker Inman was awarded custody of the twins in 2000 after his divorce from Daisha Inman, and he married Daralee in 2001. The abuse of the twins began almost immediately—they suffered from serious speech delays and did not know how to hold a pencil at age 4. They were homeschooled after second grade. “‘Home schooling,’ however, turned out to be little more than a revolving cast of tutors with no teaching experience.” In Wyoming, the twins were locked into their room at night and forced to relieve themselves in the corner. In South Carolina, they were kept locked in a feces-covered basement. Daralee hit Georgia with a baseball bat and pushed Patterson down the stairs. Walker punched Georgia in the face. A caregiver scalded them in the bathtub. They were repeatedly endangered by Walker and Daralee, who were both drug addicts—while high on drugs, Daralee crashed into a tree with the twins in the car; Walker detonated a tear-gas grenade in the house and forced the twins to play Russian Roulette. When they were rescued at age 12, both children were seriously underweight. The abuse was reported to child services at least four times, but Walker Inman’s money and connections allowed him to avoid consequences. When nannies noticed the abuse, they were immediately fired.

The children were rescued from the abuse after their father’s death in February 2010 from a drug overdose. Though Daralee attempted to keep the children, Daisha Inman eventually was able to gain custody of them in August 2010 by bringing “a court order, a fleet of police cars and two ambulances” to their Wyoming home. The children spent three months in a psychiatric facility before going to live with Daisha. Daralee has not been charged, although South Carolina’s Department of Social Services determined in April 2011 that she had abused the children.

Date: August 2010
Grover, Wyoming and Georgetown, South Carolina Continue reading

2 Children by Barbara Dean Baldwin and Tommy Lee Baldwin

Two boys, ages 10 and 9, were imprisoned and starved by their great-aunt Barbara Dean Baldwin and her husband Tommy Lee Baldwin. The boys were forced to live in a hot, windowless garage and were not allowed into the house to use the toilet or bathe. They were punished for making errors in their school work “by being denied food, sometimes for several days.” They “ate garbage and dog food and were sometimes punished by kneeling on a concrete floor with their arms raised over their heads.”

The Baldwins gained custody of the boys in September 1998 when their mother was imprisoned on a drug charge. The boys were removed from the Baldwins’ care for two months that year for being made to sleep in the garage, but they were later returned to the Baldwins. In October 2000 and September 2001 CPS investigated neglect reports but did not find evidence to substantiate them. The boys were eventually removed from school to be homeschooled.

The Baldwins were each charged with four counts of felony injury to a child by omission. Barbara Baldwin was sentenced to 40 years in prison and Tommy Baldwin was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Date: August 8, 2002
Houston, Texas Continue reading

2 children of Sandra and Jeffrey Weller, and 4 siblings

sandra and jeffrey weller
16-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, were beaten, imprisoned, and starved by their adoptive mother Sandra Weller and their stepfather Jeffrey Weller. The twins were pulled out of school to be homeschooled after school officials reported suspicions of abuse. Despite the abuse, the twins “participated weekly in home-school social events outside the home,” according to the Wellers’ lawyer.

The twins were originally adopted by Sandra Weller and her previous husband in California around 1997 and stated that they had been abused as long as they could remember. The Wellers locked them in a bedroom with one mattress, no electricity, and newspapers covering the windows. They were released once a day to eat canned vegetables. Because they were starving, they stole food from the locked refrigerator and pantry whenever they could; when the Wellers caught them, they were beaten with a heavy board. The girl, who was bald from malnutrition when they were found, took the brunt of the abuse and was also strangled and punched in the face. The twins were not permitted to talk to or touch the other members of the family. The other four children in the home—two boys aged 14 and 12 from Jeffrey Weller’s earlier marriage to Tina Toth (who had lived there since June 2011), a 10-year-old boy from Sandra Weller’s earlier marriage to Tim Graf, and the Wellers’ 4-year-old son—were also physically and emotionally abused, especially when they tried to sneak food to the twins.

The abuse came to light when the girl passed a note to her therapist and the police were notified. The Wellers were originally charged with five counts of second-degree assault and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. They were eventually convicted in 2013 of “three counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful imprisonment, second-degree assault, and four counts of third-degree assault causing bodily harm. Jeffrey Weller was also found guilty of strangulation of the girl twin” and on several counts of abusing his other four children. The Wellers were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Date: October 7, 2011
Vancouver, Washington Continue reading

4 Daughters of Kenneth Yaw and Rita Starceski

kenneth yaw and rita starceski
Four girls—15-year-old twins Kelly and Colleen, Michaela (age 13), and Bridget (age 11)—were imprisoned and deprived of food by their father, Dr. Kenneth Yaw. The girls’ stepmother Rita Starceski knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it. The girls were homeschooled.

Yaw and his first wife, Maureen, had 10 children, including one other girl (Kate, age 26) and five boys. The family originally lived in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, where Yaw worked as an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the children attended school. After Maureen’s death in 2001 from breast cancer, Yaw married Starceski in 2003 and “withdrew the children from activities and frequently changed homes and schools…A few of the older children left home before they turned 18 and were cut off from financial support.”

In 2007, the family moved to Las Cruces, NM where the children “were schooled at home and isolated. For such infractions as failing to clean up after the family dog, the girls later told police, they were sent to the garage and allowed out only to use the bathroom.” After the three older girls stole money in 2008 with the intent to purchase clothing and enroll in public school, Yaw imprisoned them in an unfurnished trailer across town with little food from June until August.

The abuse came to light after “Dr. Yaw got into an argument with a neighbor in the trailer park Aug. 5 and called police, who discovered the girls’ living situation and arrested the doctor and his wife.” Yaw and Starceski were each charged with six counts of felony child abuse. They were also later charged with child neglect by social services lawyers in Chautauqua County, New York.

Date: August 7, 2008
Las Cruces, New Mexico Continue reading

Children of Samuel Thomas Patrick and Debra Lynn Patrick

samuel thomas patrick
Samuel Thomas Patrick fathered 9 children with his sister, Debra Lynn Patrick (pictured), and 4 grandchildren with his adolescent daughters. All 13 children were homebirthed and homeschooled.

The abuse came to light when workers at the cemetery where Samuel and Debra’s 8-month-old son Joshua had been buried in 1990 discovered that his coffin had been replaced by an empty styrofoam container. Police found Joshua’s coffin in the Patricks’ house, where it had been for 12 years. Samuel Patrick was charged with one count of incest and the children were placed with child services

Date: February 26, 2002
Moore Haven, Florida Continue reading

2 daughters of Johann and Kimery Jorg

Two girls, ages 13 and 11, were abused by their adoptive parents, Johann and Kimery Jorg. Both girls were made to sleep outside using a bucket for a bathroom, and they were not allowed to wear clothes. They were forced to run barefoot in the heat for hours and beaten with a wooden paddle as punishment for supposed “lying and stealing”. The older girl’s hair was also shaved off as punishment. They were systematically deprived of food; the older girl weighed only 60 lbs. when they were rescued and she had to be hospitalized. The Jorgs’ other two adopted children, girls ages 8 and 7, were not abused. The children were homeschooled.

The abuse came to light when the Jorgs went to Southwest Behavioral Health Services to seek help with the oldest girl’s “deviant” behavior. They informed the workers of how they had been disciplining their daughters, and the workers called child protective services. The Jorgs maintained that the punishments were in the girls’ best interest and were intended to “train” them. The Jorgs were each charged with four counts of child abuse.

Date: May 30, 2014
Location: Peoria, Arizona Continue reading

2 boys by Barbara and Tommy Baldwin

From 1998 to 2002, Barbara and Tommy Baldwin cared for their two grand-nephews. They were forced to live in the garage and had their food restricted to the extent that they began eating dog food and garbage. The boys had originally attended school, but Barbara restricted their food intake and sent them without lunch and they began taking food from their classmates. Barbara subsequently withdrew the boys from school and began homeschooling them. When they did not complete their schoolwork to her satisfaction, she would deny them food or force them to kneel with their hands over their heads for long periods of time. Social workers found the boys when responding to an abuse tip in 2002. By this time, the two boys, then 9 and 10, had been nearly starved to death.

Date: August, 2002
Missouri City, Texas Continue reading

Brandon Clutter


Homeschooling mother Jaime Clutter was suffering from postpartum depression when she took her two children, Brandon, 10, and Katelyn, 6 months, outside on foot one morning in March, underdressed for the cold weather. All three were found drowned in a nearby creek, suffering from hypothermia. Investigators found no signs of a struggle and ruled the deaths were an accident.

Date: March 13, 2013
Location: New Albany, Indiana Continue reading

Donovan McKee


11-year-old Donovan McKee was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend, Anthony Lee Bush, over a period of nine hours while his mother, Cynthia McKee, was at work. Bush began beating Donovan because the boy refused to vacuum the floor. Bush was charged with homicide and child endangerment. Donovan’s body showed evidence of injuries from previous abuse. Bush had also previously physically abused McKee. Donovan was homeschooled through an online cyber charter program, which Mary Carrasco, the director of a child advocacy center, said may have helped hide his injuries.

Date: February 12, 2012
Location: Knoxville, Pennsylvania Continue reading