KARA Child Abuse Reporting This Spring (March, April, May)

May 6, 2015 in Child Death, Invisible Children, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

the mine lakesRecent child abuse reporting from around the nation (find your state here)

May 4, San Bernardino County California, Noble Dingman charged with murder, child abuse in death of infant son.

May 4, St Paul MN, Governor Dayton comments on 8 children living in filth and child protection not monitoring the cases.  Erin Davies and Betsy Davies home filled with garbage, filth and animal feces

May 4, Paul Offit’s Bad Faith book explores child death due to religious maltreatment

May 4, Escambia County California,  War on Children USA Today 1 in 14 children in Escambia County has allegation of abuse (with increasing severity of the crime)

Older, National, Death Courts For Children

May 4, Albany Georgia, Investigation Team looking into the death of 21 month old Darisus Thomas & 13 month old Candice Sky Jordon.

May 3, Belleville Louisiana, Jason Manuel Reeves receives death warrant for rape and murder of 4 year old Mary Jean Thigpen

May 3, Wapello County Iowa, Wapello County has five times the state average of teen pregnancy.

May 1, Denver Colorado, Child dead after placed with troubled dad (Human services question)  video

May 1, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 3 Agencies failed to stop abuse before death of 3 year old Ahziya Osceola (foster child)

April 30, Wheeling West Virginia, West Virginia double the number of babies born with mothers drug addiction

April 30, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Intense increase in child abuse reports (68% growth over last year)

April 30, National, Feds pay for drug fraud; 92% of foster care kids prescribed antipsychotics for unaccepted uses.

April 29, Calhoun County, Michigan, Boyfriend suspected in homicide death of 18 month old girl.

April 29, Madison County Alabama, 1898 reports of child abuse & 3 child deaths in Madison County last year

April 29, Kansas City, Missouri, 19 year old Donniesha Lasha Lee charged in killing her 1 year old daughter

April 27, Child death at hands of caregiver in Los Angeles County (176,000 reports of abuse, 19 child deaths at the hands of a caregiver)

April 27, Brunswick County North Carolina, Dave Morgan and Angel Ray indicted in murder of 15 month old Brayden Ray in Leland North Carolina

April 25, Brandenton, Florida, Dianna Marr and Trevor Cardarelle charge with aggravated manslaughter of a child in the death of her 4 year old son Alexander Marr. 

April 23, Gainesville Georgia, Temporary hotel housing instead of foster care for children (there are not enough foster homes.

April 22, Penn State Pennsylvania, Panel discusses how child abuse leads to chronic illness, dangerous lifestyles and early death.

April 21, Pennsylvania, Bill to upgrade from misdemeanor to felony concealing the death of a child (homicidal death of 9 year old Jarron Tutko JR)

April 21, Sacramento California, Bill to curb overuse of psychiatric medicating of foster children (Jim Beall, Holly Mitchell, Bill Monning) Drugging our Kids San Jose Mercury News

April 22, Orange California, Class action lawsuit filed alleging unwarranted seizure of thousands of children

April 22, Kansas City Missouri, Child Welfare gives in and agrees to release documents in case of 32 pound 10 year old girl found locked in dark closet with urine and feces (after starvation and torture deaths of two Kansas city brothers)

April 22, Indianapolis Indiana, Indiana child abuse deaths surge in 1st year of hotline, 48% under a year old 

April 21, Festus, Missouri, Taylor Fast arrested in abuse death of 17 month old daughter Layla Fast

April 21, Amherst, New York, Adult victims of child abuse push for change in child abuse law

April 21, Las Cruces New Mexico, Crisis Center closes due to lack of funding after 30 years (where children were voluntarily placed to save children from abuse and neglect)

April 20, Atlanta Georgia, 152 Georgia children died last year with state child protection history.

April 20, Los Angeles California, County releases stats on child abuse; 12 suicides (youngest 12 by hanging), 24  homicide by parent or caregiver, 108 undetermined deaths….

April 20, Burlington Vermont, Child Welfare bill falls short of protections needed to address fundamental shortcomings that cause the tragic murders of two Vermont Toddlers last year.  Unmanageable caseloads are still the problem.

April 20, New Jersey, Kids Count report finds significant racial disparities among at risk youth

April 20, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Adult male in custody over death of four year old boy.

April 20, Sacramento California, Due to police calls, rapes and runaways, state Assemblyman Mark Stone calls for eliminating nearly all group homes in California

April 20, Coffee County Alabama, State budget issues may eliminate child abuse prevention funding.

April 18, Rock Island Illinois, Leila M Martin facing murder charges in connection with death of her 4 month old son

April 17, LeHigh Florida, 6 month old death at LeHigh daycare under investigation

April 17, Broward / Palm Beach Florida, Anti LGBT adoption bill will leave thousands of foster children without homes

April 17, Danielson New York, Carroll Baumgarner-Ramos faces first degree manslaughter charges for sexual assault and manslaughter of 3 year old girl.

April 17, Orlando Florida, $10,000 Dollar fine against and settlement against Carlton Palms Educational Center (residential treatment for severely disabled children) for sex offenses and beatings, scalding and death of Paige Elizabeth Lunsford (14 year old autistic girl) and dehydration death of another 14 year old.

April 17, Montville Pennsylvania, Murder charge for Maurice Pearson in beating death of 3 year old Ty’mmil Solomon (beat the boy with a belt)

April 16, Las Vegas Nevada, Area Couple face multiple charges in death of sick child after leaving state and care of 3 year old child (found dead hidden in garage) to pregnant 17 year old (Jondrew Lachaux 20 charges, Kellie Phillips the mother).

April 15, Cincinnati Ohio, Andrea Bradley faces possible death sentence in death of toddler Glenara Bates

April 13, Balch Springs Texas, Child’s death not reported, Rising ceremony, woman arrested in death of 2 year old boy

April 10, Tulsa Oklahoma, The state of child protection in Oklahoma is troublesome (about half the need for foster care placements is being met)

April 10, Kent County Michigan, 2 DHS workers suspended for “neglect of duty” in 12 year old Jamarion Lawhorns killing 9 year old Connor Verkerke (Jamariion told police that he was “tired of life”).

April 9, McLean County Kentucky, Kentucky now among the ten worst states in the nation for child abuse (1800 / day).

April 9, Miami Florida, Sherrif’s department, Seminole Tribe, and Child Welfare were aware of 3 year old Ahziay’s abuse before his tragic death.

April 9, Arizona, Dept of Child Safety stops assigning lower-priority cases because of overwhelmed child protection system.

April 9, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, child abuse hotline explodes with 158,000 calls in 2014. Substantiated cases grow dramatically.

April 9, Benton County Arkansas, 6 year old Isaiah Torres chronic child abuse went unnoticed (even the chemical burns on his back)

April 7, Boston Massachussetts, Disappearance of 5 year old Jeremiah Oliver suggests “crippling” caseloads, poor oversight, lack of foster homes, and fear driven policies remain a big problem for state social workers.

April 4, Bella Vista Arkansas, Rape and murder of 6 year old boy, Alejandro Torres and Cathy Lynn Torres arrested on capital murder charges.

April 6, Danville Kentucky, Woman charged in 3 year old beating death of 3 year old step daughter (Alex Raley) had 19 social service child abuse and neglect reports

April 5, Las Vegas, Nevada, Parents missing, 3 year old dies in care of teen sister & 4 month old infant with substantial bodily harm in critical condition.  Police are seeking Jondrew Lachaux & Kellie Phillips for questioning.

April 4, Portsmouth Virginia, Police investigating child’s death

April 4, Detroit Michigan, Detroit teacher (Eric Fredlund) tried to find, save girl (his student Stoni Ann Blair) found stuffed in freezer 


April 2, Balch Springs California, 2 year old dies and has “rising ceremony” in house serving as church – parents flee to Mexico

April 2, Tallahassee Florida, Bill allows private adoption agencies to refuse gay couples adoption rights

April 2, Chicago Illinois, DCFS late in responding to more than 300 child abuse, neglect claims: audit

April 1, Davidson County North Carolina, of 1400 child neglect / abuse investigations, half were drug related.

April 1, Columbia South Carolina, Social service agency overwhelmed with reports of abuse, 15% of caseworkers assigned over 50 children (twice the recommended caseload of 24)

April 1, Charlotte North Carolina, Wanda Sue Larson sentenced to 17 months in jail for shackling her 11 year old legal guardian boy to her porch with a dead chick tied to his neck.

April 1, Nashville Tennessee, 130 child abuse cases not investigated for up to ten years (DA finds that 74 of the backlog were child sex abuse cases)

March 31, Chicago Illinois, DCFS administrator: Child Dies of abuse, neglect every 3 days in Illinois  (67,000 reports last year)

March 31, Harrison County Texas, Jason Alonzo Jones, charged in death of 7 month old (died of a fractured skull) while Jason was baby sitting.


March 18, Arlington Washington, Fire in foster home left Tyler Emory 10, and Kyler Williams 11, dead. State moves to increase fire safety training for caregivers.

Older, Oklahoma, 78 children in custody of Department of Human Services are missing.  38 of them have been missing for more than 3 months.  10,000 children in state custody, above the age of 13, staff does not follow the child nor will police be called when they run away.

March 29, Minneapolis Minnesota, Foster Care; Kids go from bad to worse

March 28. Norfolk, Virginia, 20 to 30 unexplained child deaths annually, study being done by Pathologist Dr. Wendy Gunther.  About 39 child deaths caused by abuse or neglect in that same period.

March 28, Las Vegas Nevada, 21 children died or suffered near death from abuse and neglect having had contact with child protection services

March 28, Brooklyn Center Minnesota, 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson hangs herself & leaves a note, foster license revoked

March 27, Phoenix Arizona, Shouldn’t DCS come clean when children die? Transparency would improve the system Failure allows bad practices to continue.

March 27, Etowah County, Joyce Garrard found guilty of capital murder in “running” to death her 9 year old grand daughter

March 26, Broward County Florida, 3 year old Ahziya Drew Osceola found dead stuffed in garbage bags stepmother Analiz Rodezno Osceola charged with aggravated manslaughter, child neglect and providing false information to law enforcement.

March 25, Princeton West Virginia, Cassidy Byrd, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in death of his infant son

March 25, Austin Texas, Deaths of 3 foster children alarm Governor Abbott and asks for scrutiny of foster care system

March 24, Jacksonville Florida, 25 child deaths linked to unsafe sleeping practices

March 24, Des Moines Iowa, Des Moines man pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of his infant son

March 23, Elkart County Indiana, Jackie Lynn Rolston in custody charged in death of a toddler in her daycare center.


March 24, Palm Bay Florida, memorial service for 3 children allegedly killed by their mother (Jessica Lacey McCarty)

March 18, Evansville, Indiana, Termination of parental rights has doubled in Indiana from 2005 to 20010


March 17, Indiana, In frustration with lack of funding and cooperation, Dr Antoinette Laskey resigns as head of Indiana Child Fatality Review Team.   In her letter to governor Mitch Daniels she stated that there is no success story in re- categorizing child fatalities as “not the responsibility of the Department of Child Services”.   Dr. Roland Kohr agreed that DCS statistics showing improvement “is not being honest”.

March 17, Tallahassee, Florida, Beaten, raped again and again, burned over half their bodies, extensive long term care due to fatal child protection ineptitude, state caps damages to the victims at $500,000 liability insurance & under $1M (over $700,000 in medical bills to date).  Nubia and Victor Barahona ten year old twins / Shawn Salamida/Mike Watkins Big Bend Community Based Care.

March 17, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fed garbage, denied food, foster boys  Austin Eugene Bryant and Edward Bryant disappeared from their adoptive home in 2003 (at 7 and 11 years old)  Parents Edward and Linda Bryant are accused of collecting almost $200,000 in government payments for children not in their homes and we must wonder where the boys are.

March 16, Chicago Illinois, 19,000 homeless youth in Chicago’s public schools, 1.2 million homeless youth nationwide.  A documentary, The Homestretch, PBS, the need for a collective response.

March 16, Holland, Michigan, investigation into CPS regarding children killed while in Child Protective Service.  Emma McComber 12, and Corey LaValley Jr, 10 and their mother Debra Sheppard were shot dead before the home they were living in was set on fire.

March 16, Arizona, More Reports of Child Abuse than the national average (tripled between 2008 & 2013 probably because of the change in definition of abuse and neglect).

March 15, Concord New Hampshire, Republicans and Governor John Lynch cut $209 million from Human services leaving abused and neglected children, the disabled and the elderly without adoption subsidies, foster grandparents and senior volunteer and referral programs, meals, transportation, nursing and personal assistance.

March 14, Law Vegas, Nevada, Governor Brian Sandoval’s budget proposal cuts Family Services budget by 25% leaving foster families, social workers, and at risk children with fewer resources.

March 14, Arkansas, The worst adoption therapy in the world.  Demonizing children with behavioral problems.  Benjamin Hardy investigation of Representative Justin Harris.

March 13, Genesee County, Michigan, Child Abuse a “public health epidemic” in Genesee County, 2000 child abuse victims in 2013, 1050 were under five years old, 21 have died from abuse.

March 13, Tampa, Florida, Child neglect cases involving drugs increased 57% between 2008 -2010

March 12, Yamhill, Oregon, Danielle Yvonne and John Henry Yates indicted on 2 counts of first degree assault against their 4 and 5 year old foster children.  3 DHS workers placed on paid leave.

March 11, Kansas, CPS responded to 26,866 reports of child abuse in 2012.  Nationally, 679,000 cases of child maltreatment were confirmed that year.

March 5, San Jose California, Mercury News Screens psychiatric drugging of foster kids; lost childhoods and terrible side effects.

March 6, Sioux City Iowa, 5 month old boy skull fracture, Kara Jackson and Aaron Tucker arrested for child endangerment.

March 6, Millvale Pennsyvania, 9 month old boy starves to death after mom’s overdose death (suspected) Sara Kessler,

March 5, Seattle Washington, Silent Wards of the state abandoned, beaten to death.  Do children have rights or are they property?

March 4, Sioux City Iowa, Legislators pull the plug? shutting down task force on sexual abuse of children in South Dakota, Jolene Loetscher, Jim Bolin,

March 4, Grants Pass Oregon, settlement reached in 9 year old child’s molestation case (while in foster care) 

March 3, Cheyenne Wyoming, It’s now illegal to make a child live in a cage in Wyoming (it was not illegal last year) Jena Harman & Alexander Smith pleaded guilty to child abuse and felonious restraint.  Representative CAthy Connolly co sponsored the bill with Kermit Brown.  Sentencing of Harman and Smith will come in April.

March 2, California, Texas, New York & Illinois – 30% of Foster kids not getting required medical screening (even though visits are paid by medicaid)

March 2, Indiana, More than 1 in 10 Indiana children have or had a parent behind bars