Invisible Children

Andrew Burd

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Andrew Burd

Andrew Burd was 4 years old when he died of salt poisoning. Exactly what happened the day of his death and why he was overdosed on salt remain a question. In her trial, the prosecution argues that Andrew’s foster mother, Hannah Overton, forced him to drink a mixture of water and Cajun spices as a punishment and waited nearly 3 hours, while he vomited and drifted in and out of consciousness, before taking him to the hospital. The defense claimed that Andrew had a rare eating disorder called Pica where the sufferer compulsively eats non-nutritive substances, that Hannah gave him the spice mixture to treat this condition but that the level of sodium in this mixture was low, and that Andrew actually died from eating salt himself as a result of his condition. Hannah, who homeschooled her four older biological children and was pregnant at the time of Andrew’s death, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, Hannah and her church, Calvary Chapel of the Coastlands, have continued to appeal the decision, and a number of news outlets have picked up the story, running titles like “Murder or Medical Mystery?”

Date: October 2, 2006
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

Documents: Date:
Police: Boy, 4, choked to death on spiced water 2006-10-07
Biological family not notified about child’s death, investigation continues 2006-10-07
Foster parents charged in death of 4-year-old boy 2006-10-14
Children may stay with kin 2006-10-21
Bond lowered for man charged in toddler’s death 2006-10-26
Foster parent accused in boy’s death is released on lower bond 2006-10-27
Death of 4-year-old boy a homicide, officials rule 2006-11-21
Overtons’ newborn living with grandparents as case pending 2007-01-26
Baby to live with parents accused of murder 2007-02-08
Overton couple pleads not guilty in 4-year-old’s death 2007-02-15
No death decision made yet 2007-02-17
State won’t seek death 2007-02-23
Fixing foster care in the state of Texas 2007-03-20
Overtons to be tried separately in death of boy, 4 2007-04-21
Opening statements in Overton trial 2007-08-21
Trial begins for murder of 4-year-old 2007-08-22
Jurors view pictures of dead boy’s injuries 2007-08-28
Sunday school teachers describe 4-year-old Andrew Burd 2007-09-01
Hannah Overton convicted of killing foster son 2007-09-08
Murder by Cajun seasoning? 2007-09-23
Larry Overton’s trial postponed 2007-09-24
Reaction to Overton Decision 2007-11-20
Unknown ingredient 2008-02-23
Reactions to the Verdict in the Larry Overton Trial 2008-03-11
Exclusive: Mom Accused of Murder Speaks Out 2008-10-24
Prayer provides hope after murder conviction 2009-01-10
Prayer provides hope after murder conviction [duplicate to delete] 2009-01-10
Family Fights to Overturn Mom’s Salt Poisoning Conviction 2010-02-18
Hannah and Andrew (Detailed account from the Overton perspective) 2012-01-01
Fernandez Takes the Stand in Day Five of Overton Hearing 2012-03-10
Former Nueces County District Attorney takes stand in Overton case 2012-04-25
Overton Hearing Expected to Wrap Up Monday 2012-04-30
Appeal: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 2012-05-31
Judge rejects claims in salt-poisoning case 2012-06-01
Mom Convicted of Salt Poisoning Death Accuses Prosecutor of Misconduct, Awaits New Court Decision 2012-09-07