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.

Amira Brown

Unpublished


12-year-old girl in foster care with Barbara Martin, was beaten 80 times with a broom stick by Rose M. Boyd-Tolver, a friend of the family, who baby sat. Subsequently Tolver, who weighed 262 pounds, sat on Amira, from which the girl died.
Date: 2005-09-04
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Reading, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

11 Children adopted by Michael and Sharen Gravelle

11 children adopted by Michel and Sharen Gravelle were found to be kept in cages.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen.
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf

Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Michael and Sharen Gravelle met in sexual abuse counseling. Sharen was in the program because her previous husband had abused their daughter. Michael was in the program after admitting to a prosecutor that he had sexually molested his 10-year-old daughter over a two-year period. Not only was he never prosecuted for this, he failed to even complete the sex offender treatment program at which he met Sharen. - See more at: http://publicjustice.net/content/fighting-safety-kids-foster-care-system#sthash.nPtFKHzR.dpuf
Date: 2005-09-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Homestudy

Organizations: Adopt America Network
Persons: Corie M Huxford, Collin Myers Ph.D., and Fairhaven Counseling of Cuyahoga Falls

Placement

Organizations: The Cradle , Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Illinois Department of Children's and Family Services, Huron County Department of Job and Family Services, Williams County, Stark County, Cuyahoga County, Chicago CPS, Hamilton County

Post placement

Organizations: Adopt America Network

Location

Clarksfield, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Quyzir Davis

Unpublished
3-year-old boy in foster care with Alethia McKee was beaten to death.
Date: 2005-08-23
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Location

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Isaac Jonathan Dykstra (Ilya Kargyntsev)



21-month-old boy, adopted by Brian Dale Dykstra and Lisa Dykstra, died of head injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, as well as bruising on his torso and legs. Isaac was adopted from Krasnoyarsk, Russia and had lived with the Dykstra's for three months. On August 7, 2008 Brian Dale Dykstra, 31,was charged with 2nd degree murder.
On November 3, 2011 Brian Dykstra was found not guilty.
Date: 2005-08-13
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Iowa City, Iowa
United States
See map: Google Maps

Mitchell Alexander Rivers

3-month-old boy was suffocated to death by his adoptive father, Mitchell Charles Rivers.

In 1997, South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) found Rivers responsible for the hospitalization of a 2-year-old son of a former girlfriend who sustained a severe concussion and a severed skull fracture.
Date: 2005-08-12
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Chesterfield county, South Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Martha in custody of Milwaukee couple

Two-year-old Martha, adopted in Guatemala was sent back and forth from her adoptive family in Pennsylvania and a foster/potential adoptive family in Wisconsin when her adoptive parents were contemplating a disruption. The adoptive family committed to terminate the adoption, and the foster family agreed to adopt her, but neither had completed the paperwork when she was removed from the foster home due to a skull fracture, wrist fracture and other injuries.
Date: 2005-08-07
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Undetermined
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Homestudy

Organizations: Evangelical Child and Family Agency (WI), Approved the foster family

Placement

Organizations: unknown agency for international, adoptive parents picked foster home

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Walter Jackson

Unpublished
10-month-old boy in foster care was beaten to death by Michael Thorpe, the boy's foster mother's boyfriend who baby sat him.
Date: 2005-08-07
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Placement

Post placement

Location

Chicago, Illinois
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by William J. Every and Sharon Every

2 of 14 special needs children adopted by Sharon and Bill Every were sexually abused by Mr. Every.
Date: 2005-08-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Henrietta, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Yuri Pintus Fiori (Kirill Pushkin)

Almost 7 year old newly adopted Yuri was detained in Moscow after flight attendant reported abuse on flight from Barnaul (Altai Krai) to Moscow. Eventually acquitted of the charges, adoptive parents Giovanna Pintus and Giovanni Fiori took custody of Yuri and traveled to Italy.
Date: 2005-07-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: Associazione Chiara

Location

Sassari, Sassari
Italy

Nina Hilt (Viktoria Valeryevna Bazhenova)



2-year-old girl adopted by Chris and Peggy Sue Hilt, died after suffering several blows to her abdomen. In March 2006, Peggy Hilt plead guilty to second degree murder to avoid a charge of first degree murder. She said that she was frustrated due to the lack of bonding between Nina and herself. May 25, 2006, Peggy Hilt was sentenced to 35 years in prison with 10 years suspended. Nina was adopted in January 2004 from Irkutsk, Russia. Nina had an older sister adopted in Ukraine.

Date: 2005-07-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Homestudy

Organizations: A Loving Family

Post placement

Location

Wake Forest, North Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Ricky Holland (Ricky Gann)


For years Ricky had been maltreated and abused by his adopters Tim and Lisa Holland. In July 2005 he was killed by the couple parents and dumped in a swamp, claiming he had disappeared. Eventually Tim Holland led the police to the body on Jan. 27, 2006. Hours later, authorities picked up in connection with Ricky's death. Lisa and Tim Holland are in prison -- she for life and he for 30 to 60 years. 
Date: 2005-07-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Placement

Organizations: Family Services & Children's Aid in Jackson

Location

Summit Township, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Adrianna Maria Romero Cram



Adrianna Cram was born in Oregon, taken into state custody by Oregon at age 1, and sent to live in Mexico with her fathers relatives she'd never met when she was almost 4. She was to be adopted by her Aunt, Elizabeth Romero Marin and Uncle in Mexico. Her grandfather and teachers in Mexico repeatedly reported abuse to authorities in Mexico. Her Aunt was sentenced to 45 years.
Special Report
Date: 2005-06-13
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Other family member

Placement

Post placement

Location

Omealca, Veracruz
Mexico

Rashid, boy adopted by Robert and Tracy Lynn Beatty

A three year old boy from Surgut in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug was allegedly grabbed by the throat to keep him quiet and mistreated by his newly adoptive mother in a Moscow Hotel. The American couple had adopted Rashid a few days before and were still in Russia at the time of the event.
Date: 2005-06-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Moscow
Russia

Girl adopted by Anna T Rufo

13-year-old girl adopted from China at age 6 by Anna T Rufo was beaten with a baseball bat by her adoptive mother.
Date: 2005-05-18
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

McMinneville, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girls adopted by Jessica Banks

Five girls adopted by Jessica Banks were beaten daily, fed spoiled food and hidden in a garage. Banks, a pastor of the Word of Life Apostolic Church, was sentenced to life in prison.
Date: 2005-05-09
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Organizations: Children's Way, San Bernadino

Location

Moreno Valley, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girls adopted by Gary McCoy

Three girl adopted from foster care by Gary Patrick McCoy were sexually abused by him. McCoy had adopted seven children. McCoy received three sentences between 17 year and 5 and months and 35 years and is currently incarcerated at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility. McCoy had once received the foster parent of the year award.
Date: 2005-04-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Garden City, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Tyler Sullivan

17-year-old boy adopted by Wilson and Brenda Sullivan, was found caged in a crib and weighing 49 pounds by the Ohio state Department of Children and Families . Wilson Sullivan died in the middle of the trial. Brenda Sullivan got 20 years imprisonment.
Date: 2005-03-08
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Placement

Organizations: Stark County Children Services

Location

Jacksonville, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dontel Jeffers

Unpublished


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: Foster care
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Foster mother

Placement

Organizations: Massachusetts Mentor

Location

Boston, Massachusetts
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

Girl adopted by David and Karen Gilmore

9-year-old girl adopted by David Charles Gilmore and his wife Karen, was sexually abused by her adoptive father. The Gilmore's had four biological children under the age of 10 and three children adopted from Russia. Gilmore was a music teacher and a former Friends (Quaker) youth pastor. Gilmore is serving 30 years.
Date: 2005-01-22
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

St Paul, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by John and Linda Dollar

Five children adopted by the Dollars who starved them, shocked them with electricity, pulled out their toenails with pliers, bound them with chains and strips of plastic and struck their feet with hammers. Twin boys, age 14, weighed 36 and 38 pounds when taken from the home.

The family included three girls, ages 12, 13 and 17; three 14-year-old boys (two of them twins) and a 16-year-old boy. One 14 yr old and the 17 year old were favorites and not abused. Dollar's also had an adult daughter, adopted as an infant, who had moved out of the home.
Date: 2005-01-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Organizations: Hillsborough County DCF (3 children in 1995)

Location

Beverly Hills, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Tyler DeLeon

  

7-year-old boy adopted by Carole Ann DeLeon was severely dehydrated and weight only 28 pounds at the time of his death. Official cause of death was dehydration. While living in Wyoming, Carol Ann DeLeon had already had three children removed from her home because of child abuse. Tyler and his foster brother told teachers they were abused by DeLeon and her adult daughter Christina Burns-DeLeon. The school called CPS several times.
Date: 2005-01-13
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Deer Park, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Serena McKenzy Cate

16 month old Serena died of blunt force trauma to her head in 2003. Adoptive mother Tonya Grizzard Cate was charged with capital murder in 2005. The father was not charged. The case has not gone to trial yet.
Date: 2005-01-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Gadsden, Alabama
United States
See map: Google Maps

Alloma Gilbert, Christopher Spry and Child A

 

3 children, 1 adopted and 2 fostered by Eunice Spry were abused over 20 years. The children were beaten, starved, forced to eat vomit, had sticks rammed down their throats, skin rubbed with sandpaper and were locked naked in their rooms for weeks. Spry was convicted in 2007.
Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Foster mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Organizations: Gloucestershire social services

Location

Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
United Kingdom

Children adopted by Teresa and Jay Moody

Teresa and Jay Moody were accused of abusing their adopted children nearly three years ago. A 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were removed from their home in December 2005 and placed in foster care.
The couple avoided any jail time, however under the terms of a plea agreement, they were prohibited
from being foster parents or providing services to children under 18.

Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Greentown, Indiana
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl in foster care in New South Wales, Australia

Unpublished
Girl placed in foster care was sexually abused by nephew of foster father.
Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

"Far North" part of NSW, New South Wales
Australia

Girl to be adopted by Ernest Richard Davison and Cynthia Joan Davison

5-year-old girl to be adopted by Ernest Richard Davison and Cynthia Joan Davison, had been bound at her wrists and ankles for a considerable time and was suffering from malnourishment. She has Down's Syndrome. There were 3 other special needs adopted and foster children in the home.
Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Beachwood, New Jersey
United States
See map: Google Maps

Heta Nua

Heta Nua (aka Heta Sioka) dies due to neglest in FOC nanny house in Samoa. She was undernourished, and a skin infection and a respiratory tract infection. Focus on Children has convinced her parents to place Heta and her brother in the nanny house to facilitate an international adoption. Mother Avea Nua said she wanted a good future for her children Semi and Heta. Believing they would be cared for by a family who shared their Mormon faith, then returned home, the Nuas agreed to surrender the children to Focus on Children. It is unlikely her parents knew the western meaning of adoption.

Karen Banks and Coleen Bartlett of FOC were briefly detained in Samoa after Heta's death.
Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: Institution
Type of abuse: Lethal neglect
Abuser: Undetermined

Facilitators

Location

Ululoloa near Apia
Samoa

"Rebecca" from Bulgaria

"Rebecca" was sexually abused in her birth home in Bulgaria. She spent 2 years recovering in the orphanage, only to be placed at age 7 in a US adoptive family where her father sexually abused her for 3 year before discovery.
Date: 2004-12-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

United States

Boy adopted by William Delos Peckenpaugh

9 year old boy, adopted from Ramnicu-Sarat, Buzau, Romania, had been sexually abused by his adopter William Delos Peckenpaugh who also video taped the assaults. William "Bill" Peckenpaugh was a nudist and had several articles and websites advocating nudism and children.
Date: 2004-12-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Sexual exploitation
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Post placement

Organizations: Lisa Lewis Cavallo

Location

Silverton, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Charles Thomas McEntire III (Brandon Berry)

18 month old adopted son of Charles Thomas McEntire Jr. and Edrina Gibson McEntire. His adoptive father stabbed him to death with a kitchen knife.
 
At the time of the murder Edrina Gibson McEntire was suffering from lymphoma. She survived and later wrote a book called " Life Interrupted! ", in which she claimed to have married "Charles Thomas McEntire Jr. " at the advice of adoption agency representative Fred Barnes.
Date: 2004-11-22
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Homestudy

Persons: Fred Barnes

Placement

Persons: Fred Barnes

Location

Richmond, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Marianna Matthews

Frances Ellen Matthews of Kenton, Tenn., was found guilty of a child-abuse charge and sentenced to 20 days in jail. She admits hitting her daughter in the face with a shoe. Marianna suffers from spina bifida. There were 16 children ages 3-17 in the home with Frances and Dale Matthews (12 adopted, 1 respite, 3 unknown status)

Marianna was sometimes sent to live with Debra and Tom Schmitz who are alleged to have also abused Marianna.
Date: 2004-11-11
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes

Location

Kenton, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girls adopted and fostered by Joe David Lujan and wife

Joe Lujan, 59, was charged with sexual assault on his 15 year old recently adopted daughter as well as 3 and 7 year old former foster daughters. He was 40 years to life.His wife was not charged.
Date: 2004-11-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Organizations: Maple Star

Location

Denver, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps

Dylan James George

Unpublished
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

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.

Julie Archuleta was paroled from the Utah State Prison on May 1, 2012.
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

Boy adopted by Peter and Deedra Mitchell

6-year-old boy adopted by Peter and Deedra Mitchell was being starved, handcuffed and locked a basement.
Date: 2004-09-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Location

Kansas City, Missouri
United States
See map: Google Maps

Andy Cannon

Adopted in 1997 at age 8 by David Cannon, Andy was sexually and physically abused until he was removed from the home in 2004 after many reports of abuse.
Date: 2004-08-14
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Other non-family member

Post placement

Organizations: Wakefield Council’s Family Services

Location

Wakefield, West Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Girl adopted by Aaron and Linda Mann

14 year old girl was beaten with PVC pipe by adoptive father. The Mann's had been investigated three times before for physical abuse and neglect.
Date: 2004-08-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Oneida, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boys adopted by their aunt and uncle in Blackstock, Ontario

Two boys adopted by their aunt and uncle in Blackstock Ontario were found caged. One boy was found in a makeshift cage that was strapped to a wall and padlocked.

They were often tied to their beds, sometimes handcuffed. At one time, one brother was forced to sleep in a bare dog cage.

They were kept in diapers because they couldn't get to the washroom, subjected to rectal examinations and often beaten with a variety of household implements.

They lived in such fear, court heard, they ate their own feces to hide evidence of accidents and, deprived of water, felt compelled to drink their own urine. ...

Date: 2004-07-20
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Blackstock, Ontario
Canada
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by Patrick and Sherry Kelley

In 2004, the Kelleys were accused of burning, beating, and slapping their five adopted children, 10 to 15 years old. Later investigation cast doubt on whether the evidence would hold up in court, according to prosecutors. In January 2007, Superior Court Judge Mike Wolverton accepted no-contest pleas to greatly reduced charges and released the Kelleys, who had served about 17 months in jail.

George and Shirley Long were accused of standing by while their adopted grandchildren were abused for years.

George Long, the adoptive grandfather, is found guilty of chaining his 10-year-old adopted grandson to a dog run.
Date: 2004-07-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Other family member
Home schooling: yes

Location

Wasilla, Alaska
United States
See map: Google Maps

18 Children in care of Tom and Debra Schmitz

 

10 children adopted by/in legal custody of and 7 children illegally in the "care" of Tom and Debbie Schmitz were abused by their adopters (they also had 1 bio child). For years the Schmitzes took in disabled and otherwise troubled children in their home and were part of an under-ground network of people taking in children from disrupted adoptions. As adherents of Attachment Therapy, they beat their children, locked them up in cagelike bunk beds, forcing one child to eat his own vomit; holding another child's head underwater as punishment; sitting on a girl and urinating on her; and hurling a wheelchair-bound girl into a swimming pool; placing a hose in a girl's mouth and turning on the water, and lancing a boil on another child with a box cutter as she screamed in pain; forcing children to dig what they were told were their own graves.

Seven children in the "care" of Tom and Debra Schmitz were illegally placed. At least: 2 were from China, 2 from Russia, 1 from Vietnam and 1 from Mexico.

Debra pleaded no contest to 14 counts of child abuse and one count of trafficking. She was sentenced to six months in jail and probation. Tom Schmitz case has been expunged. The Schmitz are now divorced.
Date: 2004-06-30
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes

Location

Trenton, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children at Kerelaw Residential School

Unpublished


Residential school in Scotland where "common assaults", "emotional abuse", neglect and poor practice were daily routine.
Date: 2004-06-18
Placement type: Institution
Institution: Kerelaw Residential School
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Stevenston, North Ayrshire
United Kingdom

Girl in foster care with Arthur and Lori Allain

Unpublished
10-year-old girl in foster care with Arthur and Lori Allain was locked in her bedroom for months allowed to eat only a spoonful of food. The Allain's were convicted and received 25 years imprisonment. In August 2009 Florida DHS settled the case for $4 million.
Date: 2004-05-18
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Foster father, Foster mother

Location

Brooksville, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Brittany Legler



15-year-old girl adopted by Lisa M. Iarussi, died of physical abuse at the hands of her adopter. More than 200 injuries covered the mentally disabled 14-year-old girl's body — 82 of them "fresh," and 130 up to two and a half to three weeks old.Older injuries included a healed broken rib, a cauliflower ear from repeated injury, and lips so scarred that the muscles were starting to degenerate.
Date: 2004-05-09
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: Erie County Office of Children and Youth

Location

Erie, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Mia Depaillat

21-month-old girl, adopted from China at 9 months by french-born Christophe and Jill Ellen Depaillat, died of fatal injuries. Jill Ellen Depaillat was indicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated battery. Jill said she dropped Mia and the toddler fell down the stairs.  Mia had injuries consistent with shaken baby, as well as damage to her intestines. A mistrial was declared in her case due to a hung jury, so guilt was never decided.

Mia was small (21 lbs) and developmentally delayed at her death. Depaillat had 2 school age sons and a 16 month old son who would have been 4 months old when Mia was adopted.
Date: 2004-04-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes

Location

Cumming, Georgia
United States
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Tyler Vanpopering



6-month-old boy about to be adopted by Leonard and Carissa Columbus. On 11 April 2004, they brought Tyler to the emergency room of Wyandotte Hospital. Four days later later he died from injuries suffered consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. On Saturday, April 17, Southgate police broke into the Columbus' home and found the couple dead in their garage of carbon monoxide poisoning. The boy and his sister MacKenzie had been placed with the Columbus' by their 19 yo natural mother who needed a break. She was considering allowing their adoption.
Date: 2004-04-11
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother, Undetermined

Placement

Organizations: independent

Location

Detroit, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Scott and Catherine Kanani Nelson

7-year-old Samoan boy adopted together with his 3-year-old from sister by Scott and Catherine Kanani Nelson was malnourished, suffered from frostbite and several other injuries. As a form of punishment he was forced to sleep in his underwear in a shed during subzero temperatures. The boy wanted to return to his home in Samoa.
The family had been featured on a Discovery Health Channel's "Adoption Stories" episode from July 4, 2003, Adoption in March 2003
Date: 2004-04-08
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Placement

Organizations: "an out-of-state private agency"

Location

Roy, Utah
United States
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Riley Owen Bilke

Riley Owne Bilke died April 3, 2004 from symptoms associated with shaken baby syndrome: brain hemorrhaging, retinal hemorrhaging, and brain swelling. His father,Todd Dittberner, who had a past non-violent criminal record, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide. Riley's mother was not charged. Dittberner was acquitted.
Date: 2004-04-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Watertown, Wisconsin
United States
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Gustavo Adolpho Hunt

Gus, 7 month old boy adopted from Guatemala by Steven D. Showcatally and Gail Hunt was dropped to the floor by his adoptive father and died three hours later. Gustavo was adopted 4 months earlier in Nov. Father was sentenced to 12.5 years. Parents attempted to complete a pending adoption in India shortly after Gustavo's death.
Date: 2004-03-19
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

St Paul, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps

Eduardo Calzada

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

Location

Bakersfield, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Pound Pup Legacy