Invisible Children

Liam Roberts

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.

Liam Michael Roberts (pictured), age 6, was starved to death by his father, Michael Roberts, and his stepmother Georgena Roberts. Liam’s 7-year-old brother A.P.R. was also starved. Their two siblings and two half-siblings were not reported to be abused. Liam and his siblings were homeschooled, while his older half-siblings attended school.

Neighbors reported that the Robertses kept to themselves and did not play with other neighborhood children. Beginning in December 2015, the Robertses began to use food deprivation as a form of punishment for Liam and A.P.R. In January 2016, social services investigated the family for insufficient food, but a pediatrician “concluded that [Liam’s] low body weight was due to a medical issue” and the case was closed. Liam and his siblings were subsequently withdrawn from school to be homeschooled. Liam weighed 17 pounds when he died in November 2017.

The abuse came to light when Michael Roberts brought Liam’s body to the hospital, where he was declared dead. A.P.R. was subsequently hospitalized. The Robertses were charged with murder and child endangerment.

Date: November 3, 2017
Jerseyville, Illinois


Documents: Date:
Jerseyville couple charged with first-degree murder, endangering the life of a child 11-06-2017
Illinois 6-Year-Old Starved To Death As Punishment: Police 11-07-2017
‘If only we knew’: Neighbors, Jerseyville community react to boy’s death 11-07-2017
Illinois investigated Jerseyville family in 2016. Starved boy was dead 22 months later, police say 11-08-2017
UPDATE: Jersey County State’s Attorney answers questions on Monday’s child abuse charges 11-08-2017
A community coming together: Candlelight vigil to be held tonight for 6-year-old Liam Roberts 11-09-2017
Editorial: An Illinois 6-year-old starved of food — and protection 11-09-2017
Vigil Set For Illinois Boy, 6, Who Starved To Death 11-09-2017
Father, step-mother accused of starving boy to death plead not guilty 11-13-2017
Family of deceased Jerseyville child says recent GoFundMe was not a fraud 11-14-2017
Jerseyville couple pleads not guilty to murdering 6-year-old Liam Roberts 11-14-2017
Friends Say Parents Eat Pizza As Children Are Starved 11-19-2017