Invisible Children

2 Children of Richard and Cynthia Kelly

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.

A boy (b. 2002) was imprisoned, starved, and medically neglected by his adoptive parents, Richard and Cynthia Kelly. His older sister (b. 1997), who was also adopted, was not reported to be abused. The children were homeschooled.

The boy, who was reported to have special needs, was kept locked in the basement by the Kellys for two years (from age 12 to 14), where he was denied food, water, and medical care. Authorities described the isolation as “disciplinary in nature.”

The abuse came to light when the Kellys brought the boy to the hospital. He weighed 55 lbs. and was described as “severely and chronically malnourished, dehydrated, suffering from acute respiratory distress, shock, hypothermia, hypothyroid and close to death.” The Kellys were charged with aggravated child abuse.

Date: November 13, 2016
Helena, Alabama


Documents: Date:
55-pound teen critical after 2 years ‘isolated’ in Shelby County basement 11-14-2016
Alabama Parents Allegedly Kept Starving Teenage Son Trapped in Their Basement 11-15-2016
Long Road ahead in the case involving Richard and Cynthia Kelly 11-15-2016
‘Challenged’ teen kept in basement 2 years remains gravely ill: ‘You just struggle to wrap your head around it’ 11-15-2016
Richard and Cynthia Kelly Charged With Child Abuse After Locking Child In Basement For 2 Years 11-16-2016