Kendrick Lee

Kendrick Lee (b. 2012) was murdered by Brian Coulter, his mother’s boyfriend, on or around November 20, 2020. Before his death, Kendrick and his three brothers (b. 2006, 2011, and 2014) were physically abused by their mother, Gloria Yvette Williams, and Coulter for at least six years. All four boys were homeschooled.

Read More

Boy by Nelson Head

A 10-year-old boy, R.,  was physically abused by his mother, L., and sexually abused by Nelson Head, his homeschool teacher and mother’s boyfriend. 

R. was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2017 at the age of 10 and was removed from school around the same time. Head, who lived with R. and L. at their shared Wichita Falls home, began to homeschool R. When the two were home alone, Head repeatedly sexually abused R., despite R. continually refusing and asking for the abuse to stop . During this period, R. was physically abused by his mother, who either did not know about or did not try to stop Head’s sexual abuse. 

 

The abuse came to light in September 2017 when Wichita Falls police received a call from R., who said that he was going to wait until his mother fell asleep and kill her with a knife. A police officer took R. to the local campus of North Texas State Hospital for evaluation, where he complained of physical abuse. R. revealed Head’s sexual abuse in the CPS investigation that followed. His mother gave up custody, and Head received two consecutive life sentences. R. testified at Head’s 2021 trial that he has found happiness with a prospective adoptive family. 

Date: September 15, 2017
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas

Documents: Date:
$500,000 bond set for man accused of assaulting child 10-17-2017
Bond lowered for man charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child 03-15-2019
Boy testifies against Nelson Head in sexual assault trial
12-01-2021
Wichita Falls man convicted of two counts of child rape
12-03-2021
Man receives 2 life sentences for aggravated sexual assault of young boy 12-06-2021

Chaskah Davis Smith, and 1 sibling

Chaskah Davis Smith, age 11, was murdered by his grandmother, Stephanie Marie Davis. Chaskah (b. 2011) and his half brother L. (b. 2013) were starved and physically abused by Davis for several years prior to Chaskah’s death. Davis’s husband, Thomas Desharnais, knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Chaskah and L. were homeschooled.

Chaskah and L. lived with their mother, Amandria Davis-Smith, until around 2015. The family was Lakota. Following the March 2016 death of Davis-Smith’s brother (in which Desharnais claimed Davis-Smith was a suspect),  the boys went to live with Davis, their maternal grandmother.. Between March 22, 2017 and August 31, 2017, Arizona police received three reports that the boys were being abused. At least one report came from staff at Anasazi Elementary School who had noticed Chaskah’s injuries. Investigators dismissed all three reports for a lack of evidence. The family moved out of Arizona until the final investigation closed on September 18, 2017, and then Davis pulled the boys out of school, claiming that she was going to homeschool them. The boys were not enrolled in school after 2017.

In 2019, the family moved into an Extended Stay America building in Scottsdale, where the abuse escalated. According to Desharnais, Davis called the boys “worthless crap” and “lower than dirt,” bent their fingers back with pliers, and hit them with a broom. Courtney Lange, who worked at the hotel front desk, called police twice after witnessing strange behavior from both boys, including wearing hats and long sleeves in hot weather. However, no investigation was opened as a result of Lange’s calls. Desharnais told investigators that Davis became more abusive in the last three months of 2021. She hit Chaskah on the head with a wrench, refused him food and water, cut skin off his genitals to punish him for wetting the bed, and forced him to sleep in the bathtub so that he would not get blood in the room.

The abuse came to light on the afternoon of January 30, 2022 when Davis called 911 to report finding Chaskah unresponsive in the hotel bathtub. Half a liter of water was removed from Chaskah’s body during EMTs’ attempts to resuscitate him, and he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Although Davis claimed his injuries were self-inflicted, investigators found bedding with bloodstains at the hotel, along with pliers, a wrench hidden under a mattress, a trash bag filled with human hair, and an animal shock collar (although the family had no pets). Davis and Desharnais were charged with first degree murder and child abuse, and L. was placed in foster care.

Date: January 30, 2022
Location:
Scottsdale, Arizona Read More

Elisabeth, Katharina, and Viktoria Mittermayer

Elisabeth (b. 1985), Katharina (b. 1987), and Viktoria (b. 1991) Mittermayer were emotionally abused and neglected by their mother, Ingrid L.,for seven years. During this period, all three girls were homeschooled.

Elisabeth, Katharina, and Viktoria Mittermayer grew up in a middle-class family in Linz, Austria. The girls’ father was a judge and their mother, Ingrid L., was an attorney. When the girls’ parents divorced in 1998, Ingrid won custody of the three girls, who were 13, 11, and 7 at the time. Shortly after the divorce, Ingrid pulled Elisabeth out of school to homeschool her, while Katharina and Viktoria continued attending school. However, neighbors noticed that Elisabeth rarely left the house, and Ingrid sometimes locked Elisabeth inside while she left the house for hours. Ingrid also allowed trash and the excrement of the family dog to build up inside the house. She told the three girls that their father was a monster and refused to let him see them. Over the course of seven years, Ingrid was summoned to court nine times due to complaints by the girls’ father and by neighbors, but evaded charges due to her profession as a lawyer.

In 2000, Ingrid pulled Katharina, now 12 years old, out of school. School authorities, who had agreed that Ingrid could homeschool Elisabeth, found her “uncooperative” when they attempted to contact her about Katharina. A judge ordered psychotherapy for Katharina in 2002, but Ingrid did not allow her to attend for long. In mid-2003, when a Linz court reminded Ingrid of her responsibility to educate her two oldest daughters, they received no response. When Katharina and Viktoria were briefly hospitalized in August of that year, Ingrid barred their father from visiting the girls. In March of 2005, Ingrid pulled Viktoria out of school. When the court sent a delegate to the house in April to inquire about Viktoria’s absences, Ingrid refused to open the door.

The abuse came to light in June 2005, when the local Society for the Protection of Animals sent a veterinarian to the family’s house. A neighbor had reported seeing “filth” inside the house when the Mittermayers’ golden retriever, Linda, brushed the curtain aside. The veterinarian reported the unsanitary conditions inside the house to the police, who ordered all three girls removed from the house in October 2005. Elisabeth, who was by then a legal adult, refused to leave. Social workers and police convinced Elisabeth to leave her mother and reunite with her sisters the following year. Ingrid was found guilty of child neglect and all three girls received psychiatric care to recover from their experience.

Date: June 2005
Location:
Austria Read More

Isabella Kalua

Isabella Kalua

Isabella Kalua, age 6, disappeared from the home of her adoptive parents, Isaac K. “Sonny” Kalua III and Lehua Kalua. Isabella was homeschooled.

Isabella was born Ariel Sellers to Melanie Joseph and Adam Sellers, who also had four other daughters. The five girls were removed from Joseph’s home due to their parents’ drug use; one girl went to live with a family member while Ariel and her other three sisters were fostered by the Kaluas. Isaac Kalua had several felony convictions for assault and terroristic threatening; investigators are trying to determine how Ariel and her sisters were placed with the Kaluas. The Kaluas changed Ariel’s name to Isabella and eventually adopted her. In October 2019, the Kaluas delayed seeking treatment after Isabella broke her finger. According to the Kaluas, Isabella’s hand was slammed in a door. In January 2020, Isabella went to the ER with a broken leg, which the Kaluas claimed was related to jumping on a trampoline. Both injuries were investigated by child services who determined there was no maltreatment. During the 2020-2021 school year, Isabella was enrolled in kindergarten at Waimanalo Elementary via distance learning. However, in June 2021, “her adoptive parents filed paperwork to withdraw the child and home-school her.”

According to the Kaluas, Isabella had a habit of leaving the house at night to sleep in the yard. On September 12, 2021, Isabella disappeared from the Kaluas’ home. The Kaluas reported her disappearance the following day, claiming that she was abducted or wandered off. According to Joseph, a boy in Isabella’s class said he had not seen her in a week; it’s unclear what class she meant. Joseph’s family, including Isabella’s biological aunt Lana Idao, organized a massive search for Isabella, according to family spokesperson Jamie Kumai. The Kaluas did not participate in the search. The search was suspended September 20 and Isabella’s three sisters were removed from the Kaluas’ custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Date: September 12, 2021
Location:
Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii Read More

Boy by Krystal Jackson

Krystal Jackson

A 14-year-old boy, R., was sexually abused by his homeschool teacher, Krystal Jackson.

R. was enrolled in Mountain View (Independent Study) School, an alternative public K-12 school where students work independently in their homes and meet weekly in-person with a supervising teacher. Jackson was R.’s supervising teacher. She began working for the Kings Canyon Unified School District (where Mountain View School is located) in 2020, but she had worked for several other school districts in the Central Valley region prior to that time. Jackson and R. met weekly on the campus of Dunlap Leadership Academy, a public online high school which partnered with Mountain View School to facilitate the one-on-one meetings. During those meetings, over the course of at least three months, Jackson raped R. four times and subjected him to other forms of sexual abuse.

The abuse came to light when authorities received a tip and promptly investigated. Jackson was charged with rape, continuous sexual abuse, and a number of other sex crimes.

Date: September 3, 2021
Location:
Reedley, California Read More

7 Children of Matthew and Rebecca Hibicki

Seven children—six girls A. (b. 2007), Ru. (b. 2009), L. (b. 2011), Ro., S., and D. (b. 2018), and a boy W. (b. 2016)—were physically, medically, and educationally neglected by their parents, Matthew and Rebecca “Becky” Hibicki. The children were homeschooled.

The Hibickis operated a small dairy farm; Matthew Hibicki was also a rural mail carrier while Becky Hibicki worked full-time for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. The family was active in the Green Lake County 4-H program, which was apparently the “only real outside contact” the children had. The children lived in a home filled with feces and trash, slept in shared soiled beds, were forced to use a bucket for a toilet at night and to wear torn and dirty clothes, and were rarely allowed to bathe because Matthew Hibicki “did not like the kids to have showers every other night”. The children “did not know they needed to wash their hands after using the bathroom”. Some of the children had diabetes and “were largely responsible for monitoring each other’s calorie count and insulin dosing as it related to their diabetes”. Several of the children had other medical problems: at least one had significant dental problems, one had a nail stuck in her foot, W. sustained a head injury in a three-wheeler accident, one suffered from frequent headaches and dizziness, and one had significant eye problems requiring the assistance of an ophthalmic surgeon. The Hibickis refused to seek medical treatment for all of these medical issues. The children may also have been forced to labor on the farm to the detriment of their educations; following Matthew Hibicki’s injury the family stated that “The farm is being managed by an amazing crew of neighbors along with their oldest child,” who was 13 at the time.

Becky Hibicki filed the required forms each year to notify the district she was homeschooling. However, prior to June 2020, the children had not received much education for a year; according to Matthew Hibicki, “the kids only need to know how to milk cows and be good wives.” All were significantly behind on their education with difficulties in reading and basic math: according to court documents, 11-year-old Ru. was “unable to read, wants to attend school and ‘is enthusiastic about learning more,’…only after being removed from her parents’ custody is the girl working on a kindergarten book and has learned to write her name. She can count to 13 but didn’t know the month of the year. ‘Based on [her] age and no known developmental delays, had she attended school or been taught regularly she would likely know how to read, count and be working at a much higher grade level.”

On June 22, 2020, Matthew Hibicki was hospitalized due to a farm accident which left him permanently disabled, necessitating the sale of the family’s dairy herd. This event coincided with social services receiving a tip about the children’s living conditions, and on June 26, two sheriff’s detectives and two social services employees toured the Hibickis’ house and determined it was unsafe for the children. The Hibickis were charged with 22 counts of felony child neglect.

Date: June 26, 2020
Location:
Ripon, Wisconsin Read More

Serah Bellar, and 18 siblings

Serah Bellar

Serah Bellar (b. 2003) was physically and sexually abused by her family members. Several of her siblings were also abused. Serah was homeschooled.

Serah’s parents, Robert and Deborah Bellar, had 18 biological children and 1 adopted child. The family may have espoused Quiverfull ideology; Deborah Bellar told law enforcement that “God would give her all the children she was meant to have.” The family belonged to the Dove Outreach church, a new religious movement of around 8 adults led by Robert Bellar’s brother James “Jim” Bellar. Serah and her siblings were forced to attend Dove Outreach, which Serah characterized as a cult; Jim Bellar preached in favor of sibling incest in anticipation of the apocalypse and ran a church-affiliated online gaming association.

Serah attended an online homeschool. In the Bellars’ home, Serah was physically abused by her father, and her brothers systematically sexually abused their younger siblings with the knowledge and protection of their parents. Serah’s brother Josiah (b. 1997) raped two of his sisters between 2011 and 2016, and Serah’s brother Jonathan (b. 1994) sexually assaulted one of the same two girls between 2008 and 2016. In January 2016, Serah’s oldest brother Benjamin Bellar (b. 1991) was arrested and sent to prison for cooking meth in the Bellars’ home. Later that year, in October 2016, Serah’s brother Jacob Bellar (b. 1998) was arrested and sent to prison for severely physically abusing his 10-month-old son. The following month, in November 2016, Josiah was arrested and sent to prison for theft. Beginning in February 2017, multiple sexual abuse reports were filed with child services. On May 7, 2018, Serah attempted to run away from home but was stopped by a police officer. She reported that she was afraid of one of her incarcerated brothers who would be soon released from prison, explaining that he had sexually abused her and that she was at risk of self-harm. Serah’s mother denied the abuse claim, and when a social worker called to follow up, Serah’s father claimed Serah was lying and refused to allow the caseworker to speak with other children in the home.

Following these events, Serah reported the abuse to a school counselor at her online homeschool. Child services visited the home to investigate; as soon as they left, Serah’s parents disowned her and had her forcibly admitted to an inpatient mental health facility in Cleveland. Eventually the facility staff transferred Serah to foster care and she began to attend school, where she encountered Athens County Sheriff Sgt. Jimmy Childs, a school resource officer and friend of her parents’. Childs repeatedly asked Serah where she was living, implying that he would report this information to the Bellars, and refused to help Serah after she told him her family members were harassing her. Fearing that neither the police nor child services would protect her from her family, Serah ran away from home in April 2020 with the help of Jerry and Shayna Chadwick. Serah had met Jerry Chadwick through Dove Outreach’s online gaming association in 2018; Chadwick sexually groomed Serah and exchanged nude photos with her. After the Chadwicks helped Serah run away, they took her to Georgia where they sexually abused her, claiming to be in a relationship with her. Meanwhile, Serah was declared an “endangered runaway”.

This “absolute systematic failure” on the part of everyone to help Serah finally came to light on April 26, 2021, Serah’s 18th birthday, when she made a public Facebook post about the abuse she had experienced in the Bellars’ home. Robert and Deborah Bellar were charged with corrupt activity and child endangerment. Josiah Bellar was charged with rape and both he and Jonathan Bellar were charged with gross sexual imposition. The Chadwicks were charged with interfering in custody. Childs was charged with obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.

Date: April 3, 2020
Location:
Amesville, Ohio Read More

Brandon Gray, and 9 relatives

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. The other eight children in the home were not reported to be abused. 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
Location:
Bartlett, Tennessee Read More

Girl by Jacqueline Barbour and Jason Carroll

Jacqueline Barbour and Jason Carroll

Nora* (b. 2010) was starved and tortured by her father, Jason Carroll, and her stepmother Jacqueline Barbour. The household also included Nora’s stepbrother and her half-brother. Nora was homeschooled.

Barbour and Carroll isolated Nora from family members; Carroll’s mother R. last saw Nora in person in August 2016. Carroll and Barbour claimed that Nora had “behavioral issues” beginning in February 2017, admitting her to a psychiatric hospital at least four times and obtaining a Valium prescription for her; however, authorities believe that Nora was a victim of medical child abuse and was forced to receive unnecessary care. In 2018, Barbour and Carroll asked Nora’s school to prevent her from purchasing lunch so that they could control her behavior. It is unclear exactly when Nora was withdrawn from school to be homeschooled. Nora reported that Barbour threw her into the snow in her underwear, forced her to do jumping jacks, and threw her into a fan when she was unable to continue. Nora also reported that her brother punched her and that Barbour “preferred” Nora’s brother. Nora was given very little to drink and only received bread and peanut butter for dinner “if she was behaving.” Nora was repeatedly punished by being confined to a clear plastic bucket or tote during the day, and she was forced to sleep there at night, curled in a fetal position. Carroll told R. that Nora was being confined to a bucket, but R. did not see the bin or understand its small size; R. told police “Looking back at all of this, I wish I would have seen the signs a little more clear, but at the time I could not have imagined anything like this would ever happen.” When Nora was rescued, she had injuries to the skin on her lower legs and an enlarged liver consistent with chronic severe malnutrition; she gained 14 lbs. in eight days.

The abuse came to light in January 2020 when Carroll brought Nora to the hospital, claiming that she had mental health issues. Staff noticed her condition and reported the abuse to the authorities. After being placed in a foster home, Nora ate voraciously, did well after being re-enrolled in public school, and did not display the reported behavioral issues. Barbour and Carroll were charged with child cruelty and endangering a minor.

*Nora is a pseudonym.

Date: January 2020
Location:
Pomfret, Connecticut Read More