Invisible Children

Child of Wilson and Brenda Sullivan

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.

Wilson and Brenda Sullivan’s 17 year old mentally handicapped adopted son was found caged in a crib by investigators responding to an anonymous tip. He was severely malnourished and weighed only 49 pounds, less than what he weighed when the couple had adopted him at age 7 ten years prior. Two other adopted children, aged 10, were kept in similar cages. The family homeschooled. The couple had been praised for their willingness to adopt special needs children by the governor himself in 1995. Wilson died before the trial was completed, and Brenda was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Date: March 8, 2005
Location: Jacksonville, Ohio

Documents: Date:
Mom who caged kids gets 20 years 2008-05-23
Mom who caged teen son gets 20 years behind bars 2008-05-23
State Witness Calls Caged Teen Case Worst Child Abuse She’s Seen 2008-03-14
LAW & DISORDER: Mother faces 20 years for keeping adopted son in cage 2008-02-08
Parents Of 49-Pound Teen Plead Not Guilty To Abuse Charges 2005-03-30
Police: Parents Forced Malnourished Teen To Sleep In Locked Cage 2005-03-09
Neighbors Shocked By Reports Of Neglect 2005-03-09
Police: 17-Year-Old Foster Child Weighing 49 Pounds Found In ‘Cage’ 2005-03-08