Invisible Children

4 children of Lucinda and Edward Sizemore Sr.

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.

Eddie Sizemore Jr. (age 17) and his three siblings (ages 11, 8, and 4) were imprisoned, deprived of food and water, and neglected by their parents, Lucinda and Edward Sizemore Sr. The children were homebirthed and did not have birth certificates. Eddie attended first grade but was then pulled from school. The other three children never attended school and were incapable of speaking English—they devised their own language to communicate among themselves.

The Sizemores moved to Ohio from Hazard, Kentucky in 1988. In 1996 child services began investigating them, but stopped when the Sizemores claimed to be moving back to Kentucky. The children were not allowed to leave the house because Lucinda Sizemore told them that “if they went outside and people saw them not being in school, she’d get in trouble.” Eddie was made to sleep under only a plastic sheet during the winter. When they were rescued, the younger children could not bathe or dress themselves. One of them had an untreated hernia.

The abuse came to light when Eddie wrote a letter to his aunt begging for her help. He had been afraid to ask for help before due to fear of punishment by his father. The Sizemores were each charged with “four counts of nonsupport of a dependent, a misdemeanor” and sentenced to one year in prison.

Date: January 1999
Dayton, Ohio

Documents: Date:
Pair arrested in case of homebound kids 04-17-1999
Couple allegedly shut-in children 04-17-1999
Couple Accused of Shuttering Children 04-17-1999
Parents accused of keeping kids inside constantly 04-17-1999
Teen-ager details parental neglect 04-19-1999
1 Of Confined Kids Tells Of Abuse 04-19-1999
Teenager glad he and siblings removed from parents’ home 04-19-1999
Teen wanted siblings, self out of house 04-19-1999
Parents of kids kept isolated get year in jail 07-28-1999
Rescued teen struggles to cope with outside life skills 05-08-2000