Invisible Children

Brandon Gray, and 9 relatives

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.

Brandon Gray, age 14, was starved to death by his mother, Terra Wells, and several other family members. Brandon’s 12-year-old sister K. was also starved and physically abused. There were eight other children in the home. All ten children were homeschooled.

Brandon lived with three generations of his family: his grandmother Yvette Charleston, his mother Terra Wells, his uncle and aunts (Melvin Wells, Tamera Dishmon, Tessa Dishmon, Amanda Dishmon, Tabitha Sharp, and Breanna Wells), K. and three other siblings, and 5 cousins. In 2015 when Brandon was 9, he was accused of abusing one of the other children in the home; police investigated but the outcome of the investigation is unknown. Following this incident, Brandon was forced to live locked in a closet in the unheated garage with a mattress, portable toilet, and bleach jug for a urinal. He was fed a bran/corn mixture and V8 and at the time of his death weighed only 60 lbs. At some point K. was also forced to sleep in the garage while the rest of the children slept in beds in bedrooms inside the house. When she was rescued K. was malnourished and had patterned bruising on her body.

The abuse came to light in January 2020 when one of Brandon’s family members called 911 to report he was unresponsive and refused to administer CPR. Wells and her siblings were charged with murder, child abuse, and child neglect; Charleston died before she could be indicted.

Date: January 7, 2020
Bartlett, Tennessee


Documents: Date:
Family of 8 indicted in starvation death of 14-year-old boy 06-15-2021
Investigation underway after death of 14-year-old boy in Bartlett home 06-15-2021
Seven adults indicted on murder charges after 60-pound teen dies of starvation 06-15-2021
Mother, 6 others indicted on murder charges after 60-pound teen dies of starvation in Bartlett home 06-15-2021
Police: Family forced teen to live in filthy garage before starvation death 06-17-2021