Invisible Children

Josie Ann Abney

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.

Josie Ann Abney

Josie Ann Abney, age 10, was starved to death by her parents, Randall and Susan Abney. Josie was homeschooled.

Josie was born in 2010 and adopted by the Abneys in 2013. She was the first of “12 or 13 children” that the Abneys fostered. According to her obituary, “Josie was a cute little redhead who was full of life and had an amazing personality. Josie was a ray of sunshine, beautiful inside and out, always had a smile to share and was a blessing to all.” She attended public school until she was withdrawn from school to be homeschooled. The Abneys kept the refrigerator locked and all food in the kitchen was stored too high for Josie to reach. They kept her locked in her bedroom and placed an alarm on the door. Josie’s bedroom contained only “a single mattress on the floor, one lamp and a clothes basket.” In September 2020, the Abneys reported that Josie stopped eating and complained of constipation. The Abneys did not take her to a doctor. By early October, Josie was covered in bruises and weighed 40 lbs. with an extremely low blood sugar and extreme dehydration; investigators said she looked like a “Holocaust victim.”

Josie collapsed at home on October 3. She was rushed to the hospital but doctors could not save her. The Abneys were charged with felony child abuse resulting in death.

Date: October 3, 2020
Salem, Missouri


Documents: Date:
Josie Ann Abney 10-09-2020
Searching for answers after the murder of Josie Ann Abney 10-12-2020
Emaciated, bruises, locks on the fridge: Adoptive parents charged after 10-year-old Missouri girl’s death 10-13-2020
Josie Ann Abney: Police say little girl, 10, looked like a ‘Holocaust victim’ after adoptive parents starve her to death 10-14-2020