Invisible Children

Child of Peter and Deedra Mitchell

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.

Peter and Deedra Mitchell withheld food from their six year old adopted son, locked him in a basement, forced him to sleep on a rubber mat, handcuffed him, and hung him upside down in a garage, spinning him until he vomited. The boy was severely malnourished when he was discovered by a social worker responding to a tip made to a child abuse hotline. The couple had two biological children and four other adopted children, but only the one boy was singled out for abuse. All seven children were removed from the couple’s care. The older children, including the abused boy, had attended public school until a year before, when they were withdrawn to be homeschooled. The school said they hadn’t noticed any signs of abuse at the time. The accusations surprised many as Peter and Deedra Mitchell were well known in their community as loving parents who compassionately took in adopted children in family groups. However, the couple plead guilty and were sentenced to probation. After taking parenting classes they regained custody of all of their children except for the one they had abused.

Date: September 2004
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Documents: Date:
Two accused of withholding food and hanging their son from a hook surrender to police 2004-09-04
Child abuse case ends in probation 2006-06-15