Abusive head trauma (AHT) abuse cases



Madoc Hyunsu O'Callaghan


3 year old Hyunsu (aka Hyeonsu or Hyun-su) was adopted from South Korea under the new laws by Brian and Jennifer O'Callaghan in October 2013. He had a diagnosis of hydrocephalus. He died less than 4 months after his arrival in his adoptive home with a skull fracture, bleeding in the brain, eye hemorrhaging, trauma to his scrotum, and other evidence of blunt force trauma. Jennifer was out of town for several days leaving Madoc with his father Brian Patrick O'Callaghan, a former marine. Brian O'Callaghan has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death.
Date: 2014-02-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Disabilities: yes

Placement

Location

Damascus, Maryland
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

Faisal, 5 year old in guardianship with a Saudi man

Five year old boy Faisal died six months after leaving the orphanage in the guardianship of a 33 year old married Saudi Man. The boy was beaten and burned due to incontinence issues. Within a week of placement, Faisal came back to the orphanage and begged to be allowed to return.
He died in the hospital from a brain hemorrhage shortly after being admitted with head trauma, internal injuries and burns. This is a probably kafalah guardianship - the articles list both adoption and fostering.
Date: 2013-06-21
Placement type: Legal Guardianship
Institution: Dar Al Diafa orphanage, government run
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Legal guardian

Location

Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

Ryanne E Spohn

18 month old girl adopted from Kazakhstan in November 2006 along with a sibling, died from suspected abusive head trauma 6 months after the adoption. Father Jeffrey Spohn was charged with first degree murder.
Date: 2007-03-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Seven Oaks, Florida
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

Children adopted by Douglas and Kristen Barbour


A 6-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl, adopted from Ethiopia by Douglas and Kristen Barbour, were severely maltreated by their adoptive parents. The boy was malnourished and had skin lesions and the girl had signs of multiple skull fractures (abusive head trauma)  which caused her to be blind in one eye and partially paralyzed.
Date: 2012-09-14
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Homestudy

Location

Franklin Park, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Benjamin Yhip

   Benjamin Yhip - Taiwan

2-year-old boy adopted from Taiwan along with his twin brother by Dr. James Peter Yhip and Edelyn Magakat Yhip was killed by blunt force trauma to his head. Previously the boy had been hospitalized for malnutrition and broken bones.  Their daughter was adopted from China.
Both parents were arrested on suspicion of murder with Edelyn believed to have caused the head trauma.
Date: 2012-04-18
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Chico, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted David and Jan Carpenter

3-year-old girl adopted from Guatemala in 2008 by David and Jan Carpenter was severely malnourished, had head trauma, signs of pooling blood on the brain and was having seizures. The girl lost more than 2 pounds in the 11 months since her adoption, going from 23 lbs to 21 lbs at almost 4 years old. A second child adopted at the same time was also removed from the home.
Date: 2009-10-15
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Little River, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Angel and Osanna Bravo

3-year-old boy, adopted by Osanna and Angel Bravo from foster care was found unconscious in a bathroom, requiring immediate surgery for a skull fracture and brain bleeding. The adoptive parents were arrested on suspicion of multiple counts of child abuse.
Date: 2011-04-25
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Scottdale, Arizona
United States
See map: Google Maps

Adam Stein

Three-year-old boy, adopted from China, by Philip and Michele Stein, in November 2009, suffered severe head trauma, and ended up in a coma. Michele Stein was charged with abuse. In January, Adam had been hospitalized with burns on his hands.
Date: 2010-03-19
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Apex, North Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Gary and Leslie Erickson

5-year-old girl adopted by Gary and Leslie Erickson was taken into the hospital with blunt force head trauma. Leslie Erickson was arrested on suspicion of abuse.
Date: 2010-03-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Eagle Mountain, Utah
United States
See map: Google Maps

Tristan Dosdall

3-year-old boy adopted by Michelle Dosdall, died of blunt-force trauma to the head. His adoptive mother was charged with murder.
Date: 2010-03-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Peyton, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps

Nathaniel Michael Craver - (Ivan Skorobogatov)



Seven-year-old boy, adopted from Russia by Michael and Nanette Craver, was beaten to death by his adoptive parents. Together with his twin sisters Elizabeth (Dasha), the boy was adopted from the Chelyabinsk region, in 2003. Both children were home schooled.

Nathaniel body had nearly 80 external injuries – 20 of them to his head. Cravers were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and conspiracy.
Date: 2009-08-19
Placement type: Adoption
Institution: Dom Rebyenka #9, Troitsk, Chelyabinsk
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes

Location

Dillsburg, Pennsylvania
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

Vicky Dawn Louise Rinkel

9-year-old girl adopted by Stanley and Nellie Rinkel died as a result of a head injury, upon autopsy another head injury was found and more than 100 bruises. In 1997 her death was called a homicide, yet no one was ever charged.

Vicky was adopted a few months prior to her death.
Date: 1993-10-15
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Undetermined
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Hooker, Oklahoma
United States
See map: Google Maps

Primary links

Pound Pup Legacy