Category Archives: Food Deprivation

Eric Cottam

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14 year old Eric Cottam died of starvation in January 1989. Eric’s parents, Jay and Leona Cottam, claimed that the Seventh-Day Adventist family of four had been fasting since the previous November, saving their money to be tithed. Four years previously, the Cottams had withdrawn their children from school. School board officials were so concerned about the children’s lack of… Read more »

6 Children of Anya James

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Officials removed four of Anya James’s adopted children from her home after an older child, who had run away from home and was living on her own, reported her adoptive mother’s abuse. Another older adopted child had lodged a child abuse complaint after moving out of the home several years earlier, but when officials had visited the home James had… Read more »

2 Children of Earnest and Windie Perry

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Windie Perry and her adult adopted daughter, Elizabeth, 20, sexually abused and tortured two adopted girls, aged 11 and 13. They were accused of imprisoning the girls in a dog kennel, tying them to cots, depriving them of food for days at a time, beating them with bats and hammers, torturing them with staple guns, and sexually penetrating them. Earnest… Read more »

2 Children of Shelley Blair

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In 2008, Shelley Blair’s two adopted children, a 12 year old boy and a 13 year old girl, ran away from her home and were found wandering at the side of a busy road. The two were severely malnourished and were covered with bruises. Blair pleaded guilty to beating the children, withholding food from them, binding them with duct tape,… Read more »

Chrystal Ramirez and Sister

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Chrystal Ramirez, 8 years old, died of abuse suffered at the hands of her adoptive parents, Rubin Stephen and Bettie Ramirez. She was beaten with a cane until her brain bled, and was also starved and severely malnourished. She was often restrained, taped at the wrists and ankles and chained to her bed. Her mouth was sometimes taped shut, and… Read more »

Child of Peter and Deedra Mitchell

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Peter and Deedra Mitchell withheld food from their six year old adopted son, locked him in a basement, forced him to sleep on a rubber mat, handcuffed him, and hung him upside down in a garage, spinning him until he vomited. The boy was severely malnourished when he was discovered by a social worker responding to a tip made to… Read more »

Adam Herrman

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Doug and Valerie Herrman are accused of abusing their adopted son, Adam, and of not reporting he was missing after his 1999 disappearance at age 11 or 12. The couple continued to collected adoption subsidy payments until what would have been Adam’s 18th birthday, but told family that Adam had returned to state custody. The case came to light when… Read more »

Children of Tom and Debra Schmitz

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All 18 of the children living with Tom and Debra Schmitz, some adopted and some biological, were removed from their home after a nurse in their employ reported abuse and neglect. Many of the children had been placed with them illegally, but the Schmitzes insisted that they felt called by God to care for needy children and were loving parents… Read more »

3 Children of Mark and Susan Hooper

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Mark Hooper, 42, and his wife, Susan Hooper, 20, have been charged with starving their 9, 10, and 11 year old adopted children. Mark is the pastor of a local Baptist church and Susan homeschooled the children. In February of 2013 the 9 year old girl ran away to seek help. The girl was taken into protective custody and told… Read more »

Jeanette Marie Maples

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Jeannette Marie Maples was 16 when paramedics arrived at her home to find her dead. A Department of Human Services worker described the girl’s death as “horrific” and her mother, Angela Darlene McAnulty, and stepfather, Richard Anthony, were both subsequently charged with aggravated murder. Jeannette had attended school until she graduated from 8th grade in June 2008. Her teachers had been concerned by… Read more »