Abuse cases

This archive contains cases of abuse of children within the child placement system.

Some of the these children have been killed, other's survived but suffered from:

In several cases the abuse was hidden from authorities under the pretext of homeschooling.

For an overview of abuse cases by location, see this map.

To make this list as complete as possible we can use your help. If you know of cases not covered, or know of articles not listed with the cases, please subscribe to this group and help maintain this section of the website or send links and articles to this mail address.

Children residing at Tampa Bay Academy

At Tampa Bay Academy, a residential treatment center in Riverview, Fl. failed to protect its residents from sexually abusing one another. 54 children were removed and the center lost its license.
Date: 2008-12-17
Placement type: Adoption
Institution: Tampa Bay Academy
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Undetermined

Location

Riverview, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

China Marie Davis

2-year-old girl in foster care with Dorothy Livingston was repeatedly beaten over the 11 months she lived with her care taker. She died after Livingston repeatedly kicked her down a staircase because China Marie refused to clap her hands to gospel music.

An autopsy revealed that she suffered a compression fracture of the spine, breaks in both forearms and wrists, two broken collarbones, fractures of both thighs, and a broken left arm, right rib and left hand.
Date: 1993-10-31
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Phoenix, Arizona
United States
See map: Google Maps

Christian Blewitt



Three year old Christian was placed with along with his 2 younger siblings with inexperienced parents Angela and Ian Gay in Nov 2002. Six weeks after placement, Christian was admitted to a hospital then died. He had head injuries and a significant amount of salt in his bloodstream. The initial autopsy listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma.

Gays were initially found guilty of manslaughter. This verdict was overturned based on new medical evidence. At the second trial, they were found not guilty.

News reports of the second trial mention hydrocephalus and "salt diabetes" (Diabetes insipidus). Christian was alleged to have been diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 7 months. The condition was not monitored or disclosed to the Gays or the prior foster parents.

It is unclear if a medical condition, forced salt ingestion, physical abuse, or some combination of the three caused his death.
Date: 2002-12-07
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Death by unknown cause
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Undetermined

Placement

Organizations: Sandwell Social Services

Location

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
United Kingdom

Christine Montalbano

Three year old girl from Tegucigalpa Honduras, adopted by Nancy Jane Montalbano on Oct. 28, 1996. Almost a year later she was beaten to death by Nancy after she knocked over the potty. Christine has 28 blunt force injuries including a lacerated liver and brain hemorrhage. Nancy also had a 4 year old son, Richard, adopted previously from Honduras.
At the time of the girl's death, Nancy was living with a common-law husband, who was not charged in the case.
Date: 1997-10-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Christopher Allen

2-year-old boy placed in foster care with his aunt Nereida Allen. Christopher was beaten to death by his aunt and her boyfriend, Joshua Peacher.
Date: 2008-08-28
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother, Other non-family member

Location

Louisville, Kentucky
United States
See map: Google Maps

Christopher and Christyanna Thomas

 

1-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl were removed from their parents house, because their father was in prison and their epileptic mother was supposed to be incapable of taking care of them, were placed with a caring foster family, then removed to be fostered by their aunt Crystal Keith. In her home the two children were severely abused. Multiple calls to report suspected abuse went unheeded. The boy died because of serious head injury and his sister, Christyanna was removed  her weight had fallen below the first percentile, she had four fractures, could not use her left arm, and had burns "from head to her foot, some of which were consistent with flowing water burns with blistering and oozing observed on those wounds.". She remains in foster care.
Date: 2008-11-10
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother, Other family member

Placement

Organizations: Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare
Persons: Denise Revels Robinson, director

Post placement

Organizations: La Causa (contract agency)

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Christopher Forder



8-year-old Christopher Forder stricken with pneumonia, heavily bruised and nearing death, only to call 911 after he had dies. Kimberly Ann Forder, Christopher's adoptive mother abused and neglected him to the point of death, never seeking outside medical help as his pneumonia grew worse. Adoptive father Robert Forder was not charged, though he also did not call for help.

Kimberly and Bob Forder homeschooled and home-churched the children. They did not seek modern western health care treatment the children. They told police Christoper's injuries were due to reactive attachment disorder.

In addition to Christopher, who was adopted from Oregon DHS, Forders had 3 adult bio children and 4 adopted or foster children. In 2005, after Christopher's death, they adopted a set of infant triplets from Liberia with the assistance of West African Children Support Network (WACSN). In 2006, the Forders and the 7 remaining minor children moved to Liberia to serve as missionaries. Around the same time, one of their adult bio children was charged with raping another of their adult children.

In December 2007, the 7 adopted children were returned to Washington state from Liberia after Bob Forder had left them at a WACSN orphanage.
Date: 2002-11-22
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Location

Seabeck, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Christopher Saitta

2 year old boy from Guatemala adopted by Lois Saitta and her husband died of abusive head trauma 6 months after adoption. Lois Saitta pleaded guilty in exchange for a promised sentence of one year in jail and five years probation.
Date: 2009-07-20
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Oceanside, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Chrystal Ramirez (Chrystal Camarillo)

    

8-year-old girl, adopted by Rubin Stephen and Bettie Ramirez, was starved, had her arms and legs tied with tape, and was beaten with a cane to the point her brain and skull began bleeding. Her 10 year old sister and 6 year old brother were in the same home. CPS had been contacted numerous times.
Date: 2007-08-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Location

San Antonio, Texas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Clare Robertson

At the time 10-year-old girl was sexually abused by her adoptive father, Peter Robertson. Thirty years later she pressed charges. Peter Robertson admitted the abuse and was given a two-year conditional discharge.
Date: 2008-07-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Lancaster, Lancashire
United Kingdom

Clayton Miracle

3-year old boy in foster care with Willie Joe and Betty Sue Wilkins was beaten to death.
Date: 1993-08-11
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster father

Location

Winder, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Colin David Jones

6 year old boy adopted by Jami Lea Jones and Louis David Jones died 4 days after being rushed to the hospital, cause is not yet released. News videos report 1 of the other 5 children in the home was adopted, and that the Joneses were a homeschooling church-going family. Both parents were found guilty of malice murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Date: 2009-12-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Location

Loganville, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Collin Parker William Holdgrafer



4-year-old boy adopted by his uncle and aunt, Andrew and Danielle Holdgrafer, drowned in a bathtub. Danielle Holdgrafer was charged with murder while Andrew Holdgrafer was charged with felony child endangerment, accused of not doing anything to help the child.
Date: 2010-06-12
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Andrew, Iowa
United States
See map: Google Maps

Connre Dixon

11-year-old girl in foster care with Paul Efaw and his wife was stabbed with a knife. Connre was stabbed five times, lacerating her heart, a lung and her stomach. She died from her injuries. Allegedly Paul Efaw had sexually abused her.
Date: 2003-03-13
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Foster father

Placement

Organizations: Huron County Job and Family Services

Location

Ridgefield Township, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Corey Greer

4 month old Corey Greer died of dehydration and excess sodium in his blood 2 weeks after entering a foster home, possibly due to use of evaporated milk rather than formula. He was supposed to wear a heart monitor which was not used. Judith Arlene Lundy his foster mother was found guilty of manslaughter due to neglect.
Her foster home was licensed for 4 children but social workers had placed 12 children under age 10 at the time. Mrs. Lundy had previously reported that touching black children gave her "the willies". Mrs. Lundy appointed an 8 year old girl to take care of the baby. The girl told Mrs. Lundy Corey was sick the night before he died.
Date: 1985-07-21
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal neglect
Abuser: Foster mother
Disabilities: yes

Placement

Organizations: Florida Department of Children & Families, Florida HRS

Post placement

Persons: Stephen Woods

Location

Treasure Island, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Cory Bradley McLaughlin

July 4, 1997, paramedics went to the North Carolina home of 45 year-old Eddiesenior Jones McLaughlin and found 4-year-old, adoptee, Cory Bradley McLaughlin, severely beaten. He was pronounced brain-dead at the hospital not long before he was taken off life support. Both of his little hands and one foot were burned. There were bruises on his back, stomach, legs, and a lump on his forehead. Mrs. McLaughlin's husband was deployed by the military at the time.

Date: 1997-07-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Fayetteville, North Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Crosby Justin White

2-and-a-half-year old boy adopted by Sharonda Renita White and Roshied White, was beaten to death by his adoptive mother, who was also his half-sister.
Date: 1996-07-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Okinawa, Okinawa
Japan

Curtis Williams



9-month-old boy in foster care with Angela Deniece Dukes, was taped a pacifier into his mouth, which obstructed his breathing and resulted in his death. Curtis had been in foster care less than 24 hours.
Date: 2009-02-08
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Cayce, South Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Daisia Derzon

3-year-old girl in foster care with Michele Baber was shaken violently until she hit her head hit the floor, causing head injuries she died three days later of.
Date: 2008-01-09
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Grand Lake, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps

Danielle and Brittany Tucker (Dornan)

Christopher Allen Tucker and Rebecca Lynn Tucker first adopted Danielle, who at the age of four was pushed down the stairs by her adoptive mother, in their house in Coldwater, Michigan in December 8, 1995. At the time it was ruled an accident. Danielle was born with spina bifida and Down's Syndrome. Despite what had happened, the Tuckers were allowed to adopt two of Danielle's sisters a month after her death.

Soon afterwards, the Tuckers moved to Trenton, Utah after complaints had been made about abuse the of Brittany, one of Danielle's sisters.

In November 1997 authorities found Brittany, 6-year-old at the time, starving in a locked basement room. The basement room was furnished only with bare metal bedsprings, a wooden spool, and a metal tub containing dirty brown water, which the girl drank from and bathed in. She had been in there for at least 5 months.

Rebecca Tucker received a sentence of 5 year imprisonment for the abuse of Brittany and 8 to 15 years for the killing of Danielle. She is currently imprisoned Michigan. Chris Tucker received a sentence of 1 to 15 year imprisonment.

All 3 girls suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. Two biological boys and the 3rd girl where apparently unhurt.
Date: 1997-11-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: Family Independence Agency

Location

Trenton, Utah
United States
See map: Google Maps

Danielle Christine Neal and unnamed Neal child

In October, 1993, Victoria Neal admitted being responsible for the death of Danielle Christine Neal, a 13 month old girl adopted 4 months earlier from Korea. Danielle died Sept 2, 1976 of brain injuries. She had partially healed fractures of her legs, arm and collarbone. A second girl adopted from later Korea was removed from her custody after being admitted to a Toldeo hospital with brain injuries in 1979.
Glenn Neal was not charged.
Date: 1976-08-30
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Morton, Illinois
United States
See map: Google Maps

Danielle Ellington

17-year-old girl adopted by Linda Ellington and her husband was tried to be set on fire by her adopted mother. The Ellington's had four more adopted children, including Danielle's brother.
Date: 2009-06-05
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Louisville, Kentucky
United States
See map: Google Maps

Daughters of Pastor in Ocala, Fl

Two adopted daughters of a pastor in Ocala or Gainesville, Fl were sexually abused by their adopter. The eldest has a child from the pastor.
Date: 2001-01-11
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Ocala, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

David A. Polreis (Konstantin Shlepin)

David Alexander Polreis age 2, of Greeley, Colorado was beaten to death. Over 90% of David's body was covered in cuts, which his adoptive mother, Renee Polreis, claimed was due to the boys severe RAD. Renee stated that David would hit himself with a wooden spoon. Husband, David Polreis, Sr. was out of town at time of attack and was not implicated. Rene Polreis was convicted of child abuse resulting in death and sentenced to 18 years in prison. David was adopted from Tula, Russia 6 months before his death.
Date: 1996-02-09
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Homestudy

Organizations: Colorado Adoption Center, Greeley Colorado

Placement

Persons: Kathy Edick

Location

Greeley, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps

David and Samuel Briggs (David and Samuel Filipache)

In October 2000, less than four months after arriving in County Armagh, 14-month-old David died in the care of his adoptive parents Gwen and Geoffrey Briggs.

The Assistant State Pathologist for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael Curtis, failed to examine X-rays which showed multiple fractures on David's body when he carried out an initial post-mortem. Later his body was exhumed and a second post-mortem examination revealed 27 partially-healed fractures.

Two weeks after the death of David Briggs, his 14-month old twin brother Samuel was brought to hospital with a fractured skull. Geoffrey Briggs had punched the child for refusing to take some medicine. Unlike his brother Samuel survived the attack.

Geoffrey Briggs received one year imprisonment for the attack on Samuel and was released after six months when he was being attacked by fellow inmates, after which the couple fled to Scotland. For the death of  David no-one was ever charged. The Briggs were former overseas missionaries.

The boys were adopted from Romania, where there parents were unaware of their adoption.
Date: 2000-10-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Homestudy

Organizations: Craigavon and Banbridge HSS Trust

Placement

Location

Portadown, Armagh
United Kingdom

Davion Winrow



1-year-old boy in foster care died of a fatal head injury while in the care of 23 yo Joleet "Joey" Poole, who was about to adopt him. Davion was killed 4 days after being placed in Poole's care. Mr. Poole was a choir director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Date: 2007-09-27
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Organizations: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Location

Omaha, Nebraska
United States
See map: Google Maps

Demartez Bolling

2-year-old boy in foster care with Adelle Newby was beaten to death by her son Darwin.
Date: 1992-06-10
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Non-fostered sibling

Location

Venice, Missouri
United States
See map: Google Maps

Demetrick Dantrell Adams

Date: 1989-05-30
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Covington, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Denis Khokhryakov aka Diego

Dennis was born Russia and adopted by Russian citizens in 2003. In 2004 he was left by his adoptive parents in the Dominican Republic with an unrelated man. Denis ended up in a Orphanage in DR until he was returned to Russia in 2010
Date: 2010-04-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Dominican Republic

Dennis Craig Jurgens (Dennis Craig Puckett)


Dennis Craig Jurgens
(December 6, 1961 – April 11, 1965) was the most famous and only fatal victim of prolific child abuser Lois Jurgens, who abused a total of six adopted children during a period spanning the 1950s to 1970s. Lois and  Harold Jurgens eventually lost custody of the 5 other adopted children: the eldest, Robert Jurgens, who testified against his mother, and the 4 Howton siblings from Kentucky. The eventual trial of Lois Jurgens for Dennis' murder made national headlines and was the top news story for the state of Minnesota in 1987. Twenty two years after Dennis' death, Lois was convicted.
Date: 1965-04-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Homestudy

Organizations: Ramsey County case worker, Gerane Rekdahl

Placement

Organizations: Scott and Ramsey counties' welfare departments

Post placement

Organizations: Ramsey County case worker, Gerane Rekdahl

Location

White Bear Lake, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dennis Gene Merryman (Denis Uritsky)

   
8 year old boy adopted by Samuel and Donna Merryman. Died after suffering cardiac arrest brought on by starvation. He weighed 37 pounds, 2 lbs less than his weight at adoption. Both adoptive parents were arrested and charged with manslaughter and first degree child abuse resulting in death and reckless endangerment. He was adopted along with his older brother and 2 older sisters from Ochyor, Perm region, Russia almost 5 years before.
Date: 2005-01-22
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Location

Whiteford, Harford County, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dennis O'Neill

From the left Terry, Dennis, and Fred from the left, Terry, Dennis and younger brother Fred who was in a different foster home.

In 1945, Dennis was beaten to death by his foster father, Reginald Gough, 6 months after he and his younger brother, Terry were placed with the family. Terry was also subject to daily beatings and both children were barely fed. One month before his death a social worker recommended the boys be removed from the house, but no action had been taken. Wikipedia entry
Date: 1945-01-07
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Foster father, Foster mother

Placement

Organizations: Newport Education Committee, Monmouthshire

Post placement

Organizations: Newport Education Committee, Shropshire Education Committee

Location

Minsterley, Shropshire
United Kingdom

Deondre Bondieumaitre

16-month-old boy in foster care with his uncle Gregory Joseph was beaten to death.
Date: 2003-04-16
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster father

Location

Miami, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dominick J. (Andrew) Diehl

 

13 year-old boy adopted by Michael and Karen Diehl was beaten to death by the couple as result of their fundamentalist Christian belief in strict discipline. The other children, 12 adopted and 4 biological, may not have been physically abused. Many of the children had special needs or disrupted placements. While the family  of 19 was on a 2 year school bus trip and became heavily involved in the Virginia fundamental faith community.
Date: 1986-10-29
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Organizations: Adoptions in Idaho
Persons: Sue Smith

Location

Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dominique Bryant

Murdered by her adoptive mother Patricia Blackmon.
Date: 1999-05-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Dothan, Alabama
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dontel Jeffers



4-year-old boy if foster care with Corinne N. Stephen was beaten to death. He had been dead for as long as three hours when his foster mother drove him to a hospital emergency room. He had bruises under his left eye, adult scratch marks on his forehead, ligature marks around his wrists and one ankle from a telephone cord, bruises inside his throat consistent with someone trying to cut off his breath and a ruptured intestine that was leaking human waste into his abdomen, causing a treatable but extremely painful infection.
Date: 2005-03-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Placement

Organizations: Massachusetts Mentor

Location

Boston, Massachusetts
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dontray Kevin Bradley

2-year-old boy in foster care with his aunt Rhonda Bradley was beaten to death by her boy friend Reginald N. Hunter.
Date: 1992-06-03
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Placement

Organizations: D.C. Department of Human Services

Location

Washington, District Of Columbia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dreydon Anthony Archuleta (Deleon)


5 month old boy dies after being held by his ankles and shaken by his adoptive mother. Julie Archuleta pleaded guilty to child-abuse homicide. Father Geno was not charged.
Date: 2004-09-27
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dylan Farrow

Adopted by Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, Dylan was allegedly sexually abused at the hands of her adoptive father. Charges were eventually dropped to spare Dylan (at the time 7 years old) to testify in court. Woody Allen later started a relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, another adopted child of Mia Farrow.
Date: 1992-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

New York, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dylan Hohepa Tonga Rimoni


3 year old Dylan was abused repeatedly and was removed from life support 2 days after being hospitalized for a bleeding brain. The autopsy showed extensive brain damage from prior injuries. His foster mother Patricia Pickering was found guilty of murder. This was a private family arranged foster care situation.
Date: 2008-04-18
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Drury, Auckland
New Zealand

Dylan James George

2-year-old boy in foster care with Terry and Sherrie Corder, was beaten and kicked to death by his foster father.
Date: 2004-10-04
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster father

Location

Fremont, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dyneekah Johnson

5-year-old girl in foster care with Stacy Smith was beaten to death.
Date: 1989-03-04
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Newark, New Jersey
United States
See map: Google Maps

Eduardo Calzada

4-month-old boy in foster care with Kathy Jean Scott was beaten to death.
Date: 2004-03-08
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Bakersfield, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Elena Varela

4 year old girl admitted to the hospital with fractures to both legs and her right arm and severe bruising on her legs, arms, upper and lower back, abdomen and head. Her parents Raul and Tricia Varela held her the potty for 3 hours and then beat her with a shoe and spatulas, in a potty training battle. The family has 2 biological sons, ages 7 and 9; and four adopted daughters, ages 2 to 8. The girls were apparently adopted after Oct 2006
Date: 2009-04-25
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Goodyear, Arizona
United States
See map: Google Maps

Elizabeth Lisa Steinberg



Illegally adopted by Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum, six year old Elizabeth Steinberg (Elizabeth Lisa Launders) was beaten to death by her "adoptive" father. The case became symbolic of child abuse in America.

Date: 1987-11-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

New York, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Ellana Lin

22-month-old girl from China, adopted by Tawainese natives Perry Yu Lin and Dianne Buu Lin, died of blunt-force trauma and had injuries over her entire body. She was adopted 2 months earlier. Dianne Buu Lin was sentences to 15 years. Perry Yu Lin was sentenced to one year of felony probation.
Date: 2003-11-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Rowland Heights, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Elsa Garcia aka Esther Alice Combs

 

Elsa Garcia was taken from Baptist Children's Home in Valparaiso, IN by Baptist Minister Joseph and Evangeline Combs in 1978 at 4 months old. Raised as Esther Combs, she was never adopted, although believed she had been. She was sexually abused by Joseph  Combs and beaten by Evangeline. Mrs. Combs beat her with a baseball bat, burned her with a curling iron and pulled out chunks of her flesh with pliers, causing more than 400 scars on her body. She was beaten with a hose. She was treated as a family servant and did not attend school or homeschool.

The Combs were arrested in 1998. Joseph Combs was sentenced to 114 years in prison for kidnapping, rape, assault and perjury. Evangeline Combs was sentenced to 65 years for kidnapping and child abuse.

Date: 1978-01-01
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal deprivation, Economic exploitation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Adopted sibling
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Location

bristol, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Emma Mei Alvey (Mei Fu Ping)

 

20 month girl Adopted from Huangmei, Hubei Province, China by Phillip and Jennifer Alvey, was shaken to death by her adoptive mother 8 months after the adoption. Emma had a skull fracture and died Oct 24, 2005. In September she got 13 stitches from a separate injury. Her mother pleaded guilty. Jennifer was sentenced to 1 year in prison,14 years probation.
Date: 2005-10-19
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Placement

Location

Spring Hill, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Enna Isabel Barreto

 

2 year old adopted daughter of Ramon Barreto and Janet Lee Killough Barreto, one of seven children adopted from Guatemala by the couple, died of blunt force trauma. Ramone and Janet Barreto were initially charged with two counts of child neglect. 17-year-old Marainna Torres, Janet's daughter, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. USCIS approved their adoption applications for a total of seven children in 2005 and 2006.

Pending charges against the parents include culpable negligence in the death of Enna, as well as allegations brought by the Marainna that: - Luisa Fernanda Barreto and Juan Fernando Barreto were tied in a baby crib for long periods. and - Adriana Killough, also known as Adriana Santana Lemar, was caged in a closet for prolonged periods and forced to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in the cage. (Adriana was the first adopted child and apparently the adoption was later disrupted).

Currently Janet and Ramon Barreto are fugitives and thought to be in Mexico where one of them was born.
Date: 2008-05-19
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Non-adopted sibling
Disabilities: yes

Homestudy

Location

New Albany, Mississippi
United States
See map: Google Maps

Erica Parson



15-year-old Erica Parson was taken in by Casey and Sandy Parsons two weeks after her birth, and adopted two years later. In November 2011 she went missing, however the adoptive parents never reported this to authorities. Upon investigation allegations of continuous abuse were made.

Note: Given the preliminary state of this case, the abuse has been labeled "non-lethal neglect" (for the failure to report Erica Parson's disappearance).
Date: 2013-07-30
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Location

Salisbury, North Carolina
United States
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Pound Pup Legacy