Tag Archives: Virginia

Girl by Wesley and Sherry Keen

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A 14-year-old girl, Rachel*, was starved, imprisoned, and tortured by her family members, married couple Wesley and Sherry Keen (pictured). Rachel was homeschooled. Shortly after the Keens became Rachel’s caretakers in early 2017, they withdrew her from school to homeschool her and began keeping her in a padlocked room where she had no food, water, or bathroom access for much… Read more »

Dominick J. (Andrew) Diehl

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Dominick Diehl, who also went by Andrew, was 13 when he was beaten to death by his adoptive parents, Michael and Karen Diehl. He was regularly tied to the floor of the family’s bus and beaten with rods and a homemade whip as a form of punishment. The couple homeschooled their brood of 17, including 4 biological children and 13… Read more »

Valerie Smelser

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At age 12, Valerie Smelser was beaten to death by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Her emaciated body was dumped in a ditch. Valerie’s mother claimed a religious exemption from public schooling and kept the girl home. She requested an application for homeschooling but never returned it. Child abuse tips were lodged against the family on numerous occasions, but… Read more »

Child of Matthew and Amy Sweeney

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An 8 year old adopted son of Matthew and Amy Sweeney ran away from home after yet another beating and sought help from a neighbor. The child had deep bruising across his arms and back that indicated that he received frequent brutal beatings, but was otherwise healthy. The neighbor reported the abuse and he was removed from his adoptive parents’… Read more »