Invisible Children

Joseph Bishop

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.

Joseph “Joey” Bishop, age 18, died of Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a result of medical neglect by his mother, Jamie Bishop, and his grandparents Raymond and Sharon Martin. He died of sepsis due to infected bedsores in February, 2017. At his death, he had not been moved from his bed for six months, despite being mobile using a wheelchair when he previously attended school.

Joey stopped attending school in 2011 due to an accident involving his wheelchair. A 2015 child welfare case triggered by a report of educational neglect was closed after Joey’s hospital reported that his mother was following through on recommendations (Joey’s mother may not have filed homeschool paperwork prior to this case). After the case was closed, Joey’s mother discontinued all hospital visits. Kentucky law does not have provisions to ensure that disabled students who are homeschooled are receiving services. Joey’s last hospital visit was in October 2014.

Due to his medical condition, Joey required assistance to bathe, eat, and use the restroom. Instead, his family left him confined to a twin-size bed for two years. They failed to took him to his required doctor visits every six months. They last moved him from the bed six months before his death, and last bathed him six weeks before his death. His death was caused by severe sepsis due to bedsores that covered his back, arms, and legs; he “rotted to death”. Bishop and the Martins reportedly did not seek medical care for him because they feared being charged with neglect. The neighbors did not even know that Joey lived with Bishop and the Martins.

Bishop and the Martins were charged with manslaughter and neglect.

Date: February 11, 2017
Ludlow, Kentucky



Documents: Date:
Mother, grandparents charged in death of ‘neglected’ NKY teen 02-15-2017
With sepsis and bed sores, neglected teen was ‘lost in the cracks.’ Why did no one call? 02-16-2017
Disabled teen with bedsores was ‘lost in the cracks’ 02-17-2017
Ludlow Mom Investigated for Neglect Prior to Bed-Ridden Son’s Death 02-23-2017