Invisible Children

6 Children of Mary Rowles and Alice Jenkins

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.

(from left) Danny, Marissa, Ty, Jesse, and Caleb some time after they were rescued; B. is not pictured

Six children—B. (b. 1988), Danny (b. 1990), Marissa (b. 1992), Tyler “Ty” (b. 1993), Jesse (b. 1995), and Caleb (b. 1996)—were imprisoned, starved, and tortured by their biological mother, Mary Rowles, and her partner Alice “Jamie” Jenkins. The children were homeschooled.

Rowles gave birth to B. when she was in high school; B. and Danny were the only two of the children who had the same biological father. Rowles was reported to child services when B. was three months old; following this, she moved in with her maternal grandmother and the case was closed. Rowles met Jenkins in 1996 when Caleb was two months old. Rowles was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis around the same time and soon became addicted to opioids, giving Jenkins free rein of the children.

Jenkins beat the children with belts and hammers, forced them to eat animal feces and vomit, and kicked their genitals with steel-toed boots. The children were fed only dry cereal and peanut butter sandwiches and suffered from extreme malnutrition that stunted their growth. They were kept locked in dark closets for months at a time. The abuse permanently damaged their eyesight, and Jesse developed trichotillomania. Jenkins singled out the boys for abuse, abusing Marissa less frequently.

Rowles knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it. In 2000, she fled to a friend’s house with the children, but soon returned to Jenkins. The family was reported to child services in November 2002, but authorities didn’t visit until February 2003. According to child services, they received “numerous” reports about the family over several years. However, the abuse did not come to light until B., Ty, and Jesse escaped out a second-floor window in April 2003 and reported it to authorities who found them wandering the streets.

“Rowles and Jenkins pleaded guilty in October 2003 to numerous offenses, including kidnapping, felonious assault and child endangering.” They were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Date: April 28, 2003
Kenmore, Akron, Ohio


Documents: Date:
Abuse alleged in home; 6 children, apparently malnourished, found in Kenmore 05-01-2003
Two Women Accused of Locking Boys in Closet Threatened (Kenmore Update) 05-06-2003
Unlikely couple face adversity together amid abuse allegations 05-13-2003
16 years later, how six children from abusive Kenmore home have fared 11-03-2019
‘I’m supposed to protect them — and didn’t’: Imprisoned mom expresses regret over kids’ horrific abuse 11-04-2019