Most recent 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.

Corey Greer

Unpublished
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

Boy adopted by Jay Ram aka Gary Winnick aka Jay Mizraha

A boy adopted at age 10 from California in 1983 by Jay Ram (aka Gary Winnick) was later sexually, physically and psychologically abused while living on the Big Island. The boy was isolated on a farm and required to work. Ram had at least 6 boys (5 adopted and 1 foster) in 1993. He also had 3 adult sons, unclear of bio/adopted status.
Tehama County California had investigated physical abuse allegations in mid 1980's. A visiting boy reported sexual abuse in 1992.
Jay Ram worked for the Tropical Rural and Island/Atoll Development Experiment Station (TRIADES) and later Agrinom. He is believed to have moved to Saipan., and in 2013 is believed to be somewhere in Africa. He was located in Odessa Florida living under the name Jay Mizraha along with 3 boys or young men.
Date: 1985-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Economic exploitation
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Hakalau, Hawaii
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Mary Lou and Bernard Bauer

A boy adopted from Vietnam was sexually abused by his adopted sister from India. The girl had been sexually abused prior to her adoption. The Bauers had 14 internationally adopted children.
Date: 1985-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling

Location

Hampton, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps

Nilanthie Perera

13-year-old girl adopted from Sri Lanka by Samson and Dammika Perera, was murdered by her adoptive father. Parts of the Nilanthie's body were hidden under the floorboards; others were secreted in pot plants and a coffee jar. Samson Perera was given a life sentence, while Dammika Perera was jailed for helping him cover up the crime.
Date: 1985-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Wakefield, West Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Carlos Beltran

4 year old boy from El Salvador, died of beatings to the head, stomach, arms and legs. He had been in the US for 8 months, and his adoption had not yet been finalized in the US.

Christine Moyer had beaten the child until her hand turned black and blue. She began using a belt to protect her hand and its buckle wraped around the boy's body, striking him in the stomach. The child was found dead by Peter Moyer. Since he did not take Carlos to the doctor after seeing that he was seriously ill, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Most of the abuse was probably inflicted by Christine.

Peter Moyer, 34, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years. His wife, Christine Moyer, 36, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children and was placed on two years' probation. Moyers had 4 & 2 yr old bio daughters that they retained custody of.

 

Date: 1984-12-19
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Franconia Township, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Ted and Merrily Ripley

circa 1983
12 year old blind girl adopted from Guatemala as an infant was sexually abused by an adopted sibling from Costa Rica. He was sentenced in to six months in a juvenile institution for taking indecent liberties with the girl. Charges of sexual abuse by her father Theadore E. Ripley were dropped.  Ripley's 30-year-old adopted German-born son, Kori, was charged with sexually assaulting the same girl in 1984,  unknown outcome.  The Ripley's adopted 18 children from Asia, Latin America, Germany, and the US.

Merrily Ripley operates a non-profit adoption agency, Adoption Advocates International. The children would have been primarily adopted through Holt prior to the founding of WACAP's Adoption Services in 1976 (which Ted and Merrily helped found and worked for from 1976 to 1983) or through WACAP. She founded AAI in 1983 and it appears the family was complete at that time.
Date: 1984-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling

Post placement

Location

PORT ANGELES, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Vanessa Pearce


Vanessa Pearce born in India, stolen as a 4 year old, was adopted by a Canadian family at age 8 in 1978. She was sexually abused by her adoptive father. At age 14 she was removed from the family. She was later sexually abused in foster homes.
See also The horrifying story of Vanessa Pearce
Date: 1984-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Institution: Holy Angels Convent, Trivandrum, Kerala
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: Kuan-Yin Foundation
Persons: Clarice D'Souza

Location

Nelson, British Columbia
Canada
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Laurence Jacobsen

8-year-old girl adopted from the Dominican Republic by Laurence Jacobsen was sexually abused. Jacobsen, a school teacher,  was at the time also accused of molesting at least five other girls and a boy.
Date: 1983-11-05
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Port St. Lucie, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Alonso Richard Munson

13 to 15 year old boy adopted in Colombia by Howard and Marjorie Munson 1.5 years earlier, was punished by being placed in a cage for 6 weeks to 3 months.
Date: 1983-11-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Clayton, Missouri
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Stephen Pratt

12 year old boy brought from the Dominican Republic in 1983 was sexually abused by Stephen Pratt. the adoption was finalized in the US in 1986. Investigators also found evidence of child pornography in the home. Outcome of the case is unknown.
Date: 1983-11-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Jersey City, New Jersey
United States
See map: Google Maps

"Infant Charlie"

14-month-old boy about to be adopted by Richard and Ellen Pluckhorn, suffered a fractured skull, sprained elbow, fractured scapula and severed bowel. The injury to the bowel nearly killed him, and ultimately caused brain damage and blindness.
Date: 1983-01-01
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Huron County Department of Human Services

Location

Norwalk, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Douglas John Burnham

In the 1970's a 9-year-old boy was adopted by Douglas Burnham and molested for years. Burnham was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in 1983 and received probation. Burnham continued to molest children and in March 2011 was sentenced to 12 1/2 years.
Date: 1983-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Organizations: Oregon Department of Human Services, (child welfare agency)

Location

Milwaukie, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Ariel Ariza (aka Ariel James Mitchell), and L.M. in care of Rev. James Mitchell

At least 2 teen-aged boys brought to Vancouver, WA, from Colombia by Catholic priest James Mitchell. He promised them U.S. citizenship via adoption and then subjected them to years of sexual abuse. At least 4 boys lived with Mitchell over the years. Ariel and L.M. have alleged sexual abuse. Ariel was told he was adopted by Mitchell, but was only granted  US visa. It is unclear if the boys were ever legally adopted.
Date: 1982-01-01
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Vancouver, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Gaithersburg MD couple

Girl adopted from Costa Rica was sexually abused by her adoptive father, who had previously sexually abused 3 bio daughters. Mother was unaware of the abuse The girl was adopted along with her brother from Costa Rica in 1981 when she was 11 and he was 9. Both children had been sexually abused in their original family. Sexual abuse started immediately after the adoption. The family also had 3 foster daughters who did not report being abused.
Father was convicted in the adopted daughter's case and 2 of the 3 bio daughters' cases. The 3rd bio daughter refused to testify.
Date: 1981-06-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Gaithersburg, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Michael Tinning



Adopted by Marybeth Tinning, who by then had already killed five of her own children, was killed age two and a half. All 9 of Marybeth and Joe Tining's children died at early ages. Eight were alone with Marybeth when they died. Michael was the only adopted child.
Date: 1981-03-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Schenectady, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children living at Casa Pia de Lisboa

Unpublished


In 1981, Portuguese Judiciary Police accused the caretaker of a Casa Pia state-run children's home of raping dozens of children over a period of 30 years, and supplying children to several men of both Portuguese and other nationalities, including some prominent personalities of Portugal. At the time, Portuguese Judiciary Police had possession of photographs taken by one of four men accused sexually abusing young children. These pictures inexplicably disappeared from the police files and the case against the caretaker was dropped.

The scandal of alleged sexual abuse at the state-run Casa Pia orphanages resurfaced when several former orphanage children came forward with accusations of abuse. The accusations linked some politicians, diplomats, and media celebrities — all of whom were alleged to have conspired in a pedophilia ring that had operated for decades. The scandal broke in September 2002 when the mother of one alleged victim, known as Joel, complained of abuse by staff at a Casa Pia house.
Date: 1981-01-01
Placement type: Institution
Institution: Casa Pia de Lisboa
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Sexual exploitation
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Lisboa, Lisboa
Portugal

Hildred Thomas Gasaway

9 months old boy adopted by Lillie May Caldwell Gasaway was beaten to death by her, two more adopted children were assaulted. Salient detail: she adopted a fourth child while awaiting trial on the murder charge.
Date: 1979-09-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

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

C.T. Wilson

Charles County, Md delegate, C.T. Wilson was sexually and physically abused by his adoptive father.
Date: 1978-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

United States

Jackie Zudis (Thi My Lan Nguyen)

Thi My Lan Nguyen, a 5 year old girl from Vietnam brought to the US by Vietnam veteran, George Joseph England in 1972, was molested for 11 years by her father. After he was convicted in 1977 of molesting 3 of her playmates, he jumped bail, took the girl and assumed a different identity (Stephen Arthur Seagoe). England was caught in Florida in 2005.

England took the girl to Thailand, India and Japan before entering the US. It is not clear if he adopted her in another country prior to entering the US, or how he was able to bring her into the country. He told co workers she was his adopted daughter and that he homeschooled her.

Date: 1977-01-01
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Home schooling: yes

Location

orange county, California
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

William G. Rohrer III "Billy" (Miguelito Alvarada)

Billy or Billie Rohrer was a 2.5 or 3.5 year old boy from El Salvador who died from brain hemorrhage 3 months after his adoption.

Maryanne "Mimi" Rohrer and her husband prominent politician/banker William G. Rohrer Jr. flew to San Salvador to arrange visa's for 2 unrelated children prior to having fully completed INS paperwork. Miguelito Alvarada (aka Pepe), 2 1/2, and Ana Cecelia, 2, were renamed William 3rd and Laura Lisa. Billy died under suspicious circumstances in 1975. The investigation was delayed and charges were not brought until 12/82 after the statute of limitations expired for manslaughter charges. Mimi was charged with murder. The Jury was hung on the murder charge, but thought they may have convicted on manslaughter, which was not available.

Likely no agency was involved, and it is unclear if a homestudy was fully completed, although Rohrer's had been working for 6 months on domestic adoption. Several background checks were missing from the INS files.
Date: 1975-05-28
Placement type: Adoption
Institution: Pro Amora Y Futuro
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Haddon Township, New Jersey
United States
See map: Google Maps

James W. Bader (Jimmy Jones)

In August of 1974 Sparks Police were called to Saint Mary’s Hospital on a report of a 3 year old dying from injuries sustained during a fall. An investigation at the time concluded that there was no foul play involving the death of the child, James "J.W." Bader.

31-years later Sparks Police Detectives received a phone call from J.W.'s older sister, Julie Dunn, saying he had been abused by his adoptive mother Catherine Bader. Father Larry Bader (dec'd) was not implicated or charged. Dunn, who was a teen at the time, said she witnessed her mother repeatedly kick and punch the developmentally disabled boy in the stomach, including the day he died, that she slammed toilet seats on his genitals, held his hands in boiling water, held his head underwater in the bathtub and rammed his head into a backyard post. The 1974 case was reopened in 2006 and investigated by detectives. Through forensic evidence it was determined that James Bader had been beaten until his intestines burst.

Catherine was remarried and known as Catherine Wyman or Catherine Bader-Wyman


Date: 1974-08-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Sparks, Nevada
United States
See map: Google Maps

Hee Ja Byun (or Hee Ja Byan) aka Lisa

Found by nuns on a street in Pusan Korea, she was placed in a Catholic orphanage until 1963 when at age 2, she was sent to the US to be adopted. At 4 years old, after her adoptive parents-to-be learned she was mentally retarded, her adoption paperwork was stopped. For 13 years after that, she was shuffled among foster homes and institutions, including 3 years in a Kentucky nursing home.

Hee Ja Byun or Hee Ja Byan, know as Lisa, spent 5 years as the lone, mentally retarded, socially deprived girl among 36 elderly women at St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital, which was not equiped  to help children learn.

In 1979, when she was 17 years old, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the District government to send her to a West Virginia school for the retarded where, for the first time, she would receive personalized attention. In his order, the judge said "The experts agree that H.J.B. is both functionally and organically retarded. While it is possible that her brain has suffered some damage, most of the retardation probably developed from deprivation of cultural and family influence."
Date: 1974-06-01
Placement type: Institution
Institution: St. Elizabeths Mental Hospital
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Other family member, Undetermined

Placement

Organizations: US Catholic Committee for Refugees

Location

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

Kim Marie Firth

2 year old Korean girl to be adopted by Marie and Frank Firth. Mrs. Firth, and immigrant from Ireland, became angry when Kim spat out food and threw the girl. Marie plead guilty to Manslaughter
Date: 1972-09-15
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

queens, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

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: 1965-03-28
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

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

Karamjeet Kaur Singh

Adopted by her uncle and aunt, Joginder Singh and Darshan Kaur Bains after her mother had died. At age eight sexual abuse started and lasted for over a decade. She was subjected to oral and anal sex, apart from beatings. To prevent pregnancy when she reached puberty, the couple had an IUD inserted. Joginder Singh was a Sikh priest
Karamjeet Kaur Singh is known as Vicky Waters since her marriage.
Date: 1964-12-31
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Canada
See map: Google Maps

Wendy Kay Ott

Girl adopted by Howard and Edith Ott. Mrs. Ott was indicted for second degree murder in the death of 22 month old Wendy from Korea. Wendy had head trauma. There were 3 other adopted children in the household. 2 caucasian, and Timothy (19 months) also from Korea who was placed in the home along with Wendy in October 1956. Outcome of the case is unknown. Apparently the Otts adopted at least 2 more korean girls (twins) in 1958.

Wendy and Timothy were among the first 100 Korean children brought to the US by the Holts.
Date: 1957-06-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Roseburg, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dennis O'Neill

Unpublished
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: 1945-01-06
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

Alex, Russian boy adopted in Canada

Unpublished
This is the same case as Sacha Vallée
Date:
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Canada

Children in care at the Christian Brothers at Bindoon

Unpublished
For decades migrant children from England were sent to Bindoon, Australia, where the were both physically and sexually abused by the Christian Brothers, running the orphanage.
Date:
Placement type: Institution
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Bindoon, Western Australia
Australia

Children in care of the Sisters of Nazareth

Unpublished
For decades the Sisters of Nazareth ran institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Abuse in these facilities was endemic.
Date:
Placement type: Institution
Institution: Sisters of Nazareth
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

United Kingdom

Girl adopted by man from Tenino Washington

Girl adopted by man from Tenino Washington was sexually abused by her adoptive father.
Date:
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Teninio, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Lucretia and Sabrina Day

11-year-old Lucretia and 12-year-old Sabrina, both orphans, adopted by philanthropist Thomas Day, were "trained-up" to become his wife.   Soon after he acquired the girls, he changed the girls’ names and moved to France with the purpose of isolating them from other English speakers and keeping them free from other influence.  Thomas Day quickly abandoned Lucretia because he found her to be "perfectly stupid". Sabrina was kept longer.  In an attempt to make her strong, Day tortured her physically by dripping hot wax on her back and arms while insisting she not scream in pain. Eventually he abandoned Sabrina too.
Date:
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

United Kingdom

Primary links

Pound Pup Legacy