2 Children of Richard and Cynthia Kelly

richard-cynthia-kelly
A boy (b. 2002) was imprisoned, starved, and medically neglected by his adoptive parents, Richard and Cynthia Kelly. His older sister (b. 1997), who was also adopted, was not reported to be abused. The children were homeschooled.

The boy, who was reported to have special needs, was kept locked in the basement by the Kellys for two years (from age 12 to 14), where he was denied food, water, and medical care. Authorities described the isolation as “disciplinary in nature.”

The abuse came to light when the Kellys brought the boy to the hospital. He weighed 55 lbs. and was described as “severely and chronically malnourished, dehydrated, suffering from acute respiratory distress, shock, hypothermia, hypothyroid and close to death.” The Kellys were charged with aggravated child abuse.

Date: November 13, 2016
Location:
Helena, Alabama Continue reading

Girl by Robert Wyatt

robert-duane-wyatt
A girl (b. 2002) was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her pastor, Robert Duane “Bob” Wyatt, who was also her homeschool teacher.

Wyatt, an assistant pastor at Agape Bible Church, began assaulting the girl in 2014, when she was 12. He told her he loved her and planned to leave the country with her when she turned 18. The assaults continued for two years. In July 2016, Wyatt reported the assaults to the head pastor, Darrell Ferguson, and the girl’s adoptive parents, but all three chose not to report the abuse to the authorities in order to protect the church.

The abuse came to light in September 2016 when a parishioner within the church reported it to authorities. Wyatt was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

Date: September 19, 2016
Location:
Thornton, Colorado Continue reading

14 Children of Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon

daniel and jenise spurgeon
At least 11 children (9 girls and 2 boys, born between 1997 and 2008) were physically and sexually abused by their adoptive/foster parents, Daniel Wayne Spurgeon and Jenise Rae Spurgeon. The children were homeschooled (though at least some had attended school as late as 2008). The Spurgeons’ three biological children (two boys and a girl, born between 2001 and 2006) were not reported to be abused.

Daniel worked from home as a programmer and the family were active in their church and community. The Spurgeons became foster parents in 2004 in Alabama. They adopted five girls (born in 2000, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005) and were fostering-to-adopt five more children (girls born 2003, 2005, and 2006; boys born 2007 and 2008). All ten of these children reported being abused by their parents. An additional girl, born 1997, who no longer lived with the Spurgeons, also reported being abused from 2009 to 2013.

The adopted and foster children reported that they were treated differently from the Spurgeons’ biological children. The house had two refrigerators; one contained varied meals for the biological children, while the other contained bread, rice, and beans for the adopted/foster children. The children were punished by being forced to swim laps, do pushups with a parent’s foot on their back, take cold showers, and sleep outside. They were smacked with spatulas and thrown against the wall. They went years without receiving medical care. At least five girls also reported being sexually abused by Daniel Spurgeon.

The Spurgeons left their Alabama home in August 2015 to move to Florida, although they weren’t licensed as a foster family in Florida until June 2016. The abuse came to light when police found three of the girls highly intoxicated in the parking lot of a restaurant. The girls reported that the alcohol was given to them by their father as part of the sexual assaults. The Spurgeons were arrested and both were charged with aggravated child abuse; Daniel was additionally charged with sexual assault.

Date: July 18, 2016
Location:
Cape Coral, Florida; Florence, Alabama Continue reading

3 Children of Echo Terry

Three girls–V.T. (b. 2004), J.T. (b. 2005), and M.T. (b. 2010)–were starved and imprisoned by their adoptive mother, Echo Marie Terry. Their infant sister, Ma.T., was not reported to be abused. The girls were homeschooled.

Terry became the foster mother of the three girls–biological sisters–in 2011 and formally adopted them in 2013. The abuse began shortly after their adoption, in August 2013, when Terry changed their names and withdrew them from school to homeschool them. Terry imprisoned the girls in their rooms and denied them food for long periods of time. She also forbade them from eating dairy, gluten, corn, or soy, despite the lack of a medical reason for doing so. When they were rescued, the girls were suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration and had bruises and lacerations. The abuse came to light when V.T. escaped in September 2014 and reported it to authorities.

Terry was arrested April 12, 2016, after being indicted on charges of assault and child endangerment.

Date: September 2014
Location:
Anchorage, Alaska Continue reading

3 Children of Jim and Paige Nachtigal

jim and paige nachtigal
G.N. (a 15-year-old girl), C.N. (an 11-year-old boy), and E.N. (an 11-year-old girl) were beaten, starved, and tortured by their adoptive parents, Jim and Paige Nachtigal. The children were taken out of public school in 2014 to be homeschooled.

G.N. was adopted in 2011, and E.N. and C.N. were adopted in 2012 (the children were not biologically related). All were adopted from Peru, where the Nachtigals were missionaries. The Nachtigals were “active in business and ministry in the Newton community. Jim Nachtigal serve[d] as the CEO of Kansas Christian Home. Paige Nachtigal [was] a former employee of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce.” The children described being beaten by the Nachtigals using a board and a cane, and the two 11-year-olds were malnourished and had various broken bones. The children had only seen a doctor once or twice since coming to the United States, and C.N. had a serious heart condition for which he had not received treatment.

The abuse came to light after C.N. was reported missing February 6, 2016. When police found him walking barefoot outside, he reported that he was afraid to go home. A February 9 fundraising post on Paige’s blog announces the Nachtigals’ plan to move permanently to Peru as missionaries. The children were removed from the home February 11. The Nachtigals were arrested February 16 and charged with child abuse, child endangerment, and aggravated battery.

Date: February 8, 2016
Location:
North Newton, Kansas Continue reading

Shaun Tara and 5 siblings

shaun tara
Shaun Tara, age 6, and his 3-year-old sister Delylah Tara, were murdered by their relative, Tami Joy Huntsman, and 17-year-old Gonzalo Curiel (a statutorily nonconsenting minor who lived with her). Huntsman and Curiel also tortured Shaun’s 9-year-old sister F.T. Huntsman’s 15-year-old son and 12-year-old twins also lived with them. At the time of his death, Shaun was enrolled in Monterey Charter Home School.

F.T., Shaun, and Delylah were the children of Vivian Saucedo, who was killed in a car crash in December 2013. The children’s biological father, Shaun Daniel Tara, cared for them until he went to prison in early 2014. Then he sent them to stay with Huntsman, his cousin. In January 2015, Curiel (then age 16) moved in with Huntsman. Child protective services visited their home four times in 2015 due to reports of child neglect (called in by Huntsman’s 12-year-old daughter and various neighbors), but the investigators did not find any evidence of abuse. Shaun and Delylah were killed around late November or early December 2015, and Huntsman and Curiel concealed their bodies in a storage locker in Redding, California. The family then relocated to Quincy, CA, where the abuse came to light after neighbors noticed F.T. locked in a car outside their home and called the authorities. When F.T. was rescued she had “missing teeth, broken bones, and open sores” and she was immediately hospitalized. Investigators then determined Shaun and Delylah were missing and later discovered their bodies. Huntsman was charged with murder, torture, child abuse, and mayhem. Curiel was charged as an adult with the same crimes.

Date: December 11, 2015
Location:
Salinas, California Continue reading

16 Children of Jonathan and Allison Schumm

schumms
Five children between the ages of 5 and 16 were physically abused by Jonathan Robert Schumm and Allison Nicole Schumm. Jonathan Schumm was a Topeka Councilman, Allison Schumm blogged extensively about their lives, and the Schumms had received an Angels in Adoption award in 2013. They had 4 biological children and 10 adopted children (two sibling groups of 5, adopted in 2008 and 2013), and were fostering 2 additional children when they were arrested. The Schumms’ biological children were homeschooled, and the adopted children were removed from public schools to be homeschooled as soon as their adoptions were finalized.

Between October 7 and October 11, 2015, Jonathan Schumm beat his 12-year-old adopted son, lacerating his eye, then choked him and threatened to kill him. The family had been previously investigated by child protective services in 2013 during their second adoption proceedings after the same boy’s foster family reported bruising on him and abuse of the other children. In her blog, Allison Schumm describes placing her other children with a relative during the CPS investigation so that they could not be questioned. The reports were ruled unfounded. Schumm also describes forcing some of the adopted children (younger than 10 years) to carry heavy burdens across the yard as punishment.

Jonathan Schumm was charged with one count of aggravated battery or child abuse for the 12-year-old and four counts of child endangerment for an incident that took place on October 31. Allison Schumm was charged with the same crimes, though as an accomplice. The children were removed from their home by child protective services.

Date: November 19, 2015
Location:
Topeka, Kansas Continue reading

Victoria Evans, Alloma Gilbert, and Christopher Spry

spry
Victoria Evans (left, b. 1986), Alloma Gilbert (center, b. 1986), and Christopher Spry (right, b. 1989) were tortured, starved, and imprisoned by their adoptive mother, Eunice Spry. All three were homeschooled starting in 1994. Spry’s other children—two older biological daughters; two adopted daughters, Charlotte and Sarah; and others—were not abused.

Spry took Victoria in as a baby, later officially adopting her, while she took in Alloma and Christopher as foster children in 1992. After Spry moved them to an isolated farm in Eckington, Worcestershire, removed them from school, and changed their names, the abuse began in earnest. Spry beat them, strangled them, and prevented them from getting medical care for their injuries. Sometimes she starved them; at other times she forced them to eat cat food, vomit, and feces. She punished them with extreme physical labor and made them sleep in the barn or locked them in the attic for months. When Victoria was injured after a car accident, Spry forced her to remain wheelchair-bound for years despite her recovery. Spry, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, was convinced that Victoria, Alloma, and Christopher were “Devil children”.

The abuse came to light in December 2004 when Victoria reported it to a friend at church, who helped her escape and tell the police. Spry was arrested in February 2005 and convicted of child abuse in 2007. She was released from prison in 2014.

Date: December 2004
Location:
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK Continue reading

4 Children of David and ReJeana Moss

david and rejeana moss
Two girls, ages 11 and 13, and a mentally disabled 17-year-old boy were imprisoned, starved, and physically and sexually abused by their adoptive parents, David V. Moss and ReJeana Moss. Their 9-year-old adopted brother was not abused. The children were homeschooled.

The children were adopted around 2004, but the abuse did not begin until 2011 shortly after the Mosses’ two biological sons, who also report being abused, left the home. The three older adopted children were kept locked in their rooms with a bucket for a bathroom. The windows were boarded up and they were not given enough to eat. They were beaten so frequently with a paddle that it had bloodstains on it. The two girls were also sexually abused by David Moss.

The abuse came to light in August 2013, when the two girls managed to escape from their room, took their parents’ car, and crashed it. They reported the abuse to the police during the investigation of the crash, and the four children were removed from the home in September 2013. The Mosses were indicted on several counts including kidnapping, assault, child endangerment, and sexual battery.

Date: August 26, 2013
Location:
Dorset Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio Continue reading

Pridine Fru

djoumessis
Actress and talk-show host Pridine Fru (right) was imprisoned and physically and sexually abused by her adoptive parents, Joseph (seated) and Evelyn (left) Djoumessi, from the time she was illegally adopted at age 14 until she was rescued at age 17. During this time, she was forced to live in the Djoumessis’ basement and work as their slave, responsible for all housework and childcare. Though the conditions of the adoption—which occurred under a false name and with a fraudulent passport—included sending Pridine to school, the Djoumessis did not do so and instead homeschooled her. However, the only thing they contributed to her education was to check a GED book out from the library.

Pridine was originally adopted in 1996 from the Djoumessis’ native Cameroon under an arrangement with the girl’s parents whereby Pridine would help provide childcare and in exchange the Djoumessis would send her to school. Instead they enslaved her. She was not allowed to use the showers in the house; she was prevented from ever leaving the house by threats and intimidation; she was beaten with a belt, a spoon, and a shoe; and she was raped several times by Joseph Djoumessi. In January 2000, when she learned that the Djoumessis intended to send her back to Cameroon and bring over another girl, she escaped to seek help from her neighbor, who reported the abuse to the police in February.

The Djoumessis were each charged with child abuse, kidnapping, and conspiracy to kidnap, although the two latter charges were later dropped. Both were found guilty of child abuse and sent to prison. Joseph Djoumessi was also found guilty of criminal sexual conduct.

Date: February 24, 2000
Location:
Farmington Hills, Michigan Continue reading