Invisible Children

Lauren Kavanaugh, and 5 siblings

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.

lauren kavanaugh
Lauren Kavanaugh, also known as Lauren Calhoun, was freed at age 8 from a six-year imprisonment in a closet where she was systematically tortured, raped, and starved by her mother and stepfather, Barbara and Kenneth Atkinson. The Atkinsons’ other children, who ranged in age from 22 months to 10 years, were also neglected; they did not know how to use a toothbrush or a fork, or how to wipe themselves after going to the bathroom. There is no evidence any of the children were enrolled in school.

Lauren was discovered when her stepfather revealed her condition to a neighbor, who called the police. The Atkinsons were convicted of felony injury to a child and sentenced to life in prison.

Date: June 11, 2001
Location: Hutchins, Texas

Documents: Date:
CPS says 8-year-old locked in closet underwent horrifying experience 06-13-2001
Girl Locked in Closet in Serious Condition After Surgery 06-13-2001
Girl in closet shows how transients elude system 06-25-2001
The Girl in the Closet 10-20-2013 to 10-27-2013