Teresa, Nora, and Finn Milligan

Finn (L), Nora (center), and Teresa Milligan (R)

Teresa Milligan (b. 2009), Nora Milligan (b. 2011), and Finn Milligan (b. 2013) were shot to death as part of a murder-suicide by their father, Marcus Milligan, who also killed their mother, Tara Milligan. The children were homeschooled.

The Milligans were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were active in their church ward. Teresa was opinionated, creative, and loved reading, theater, and playing the harp. Nora was well-spoken, an animal lover, and enjoyed piano and soccer. Finn had a great sense of humor and loved music and sports. The children treasured their pets, 5 cats and a dog. The Milligans’ fourth child, Conor Milligan (2015-2019), died of childhood cancer.

Three years and one week after Conor’s death, the police received a 911 call, likely from Marcus Milligan. When authorities arrived at the home they found that Marcus had shot and killed Tara, then had shot and killed each of the children, before killing himself. The motive remains unclear, although family and friends’ statement that “the reunion [in heaven] is a beautiful one for the family” indicates that grief and theological beliefs may have played a role in the murders.

Date: September 9, 2022
Location:
Elk Mills, Cecil County, Maryland Read More

Roman Lopez, and 7 siblings

Roman Lopez

Roman Anthony Lopez, age 11 (b. 2009), was starved, tortured, and murdered by his father, Jordan Piper, and his stepmother Lindsay Piper. Roman’s 7 siblings who lived in the home (ages 1 to 17) were also abused, including Carson (b. 2008) and Brock Garvin (sons of Lindsay Piper and her former husband Marcus Garvin). All the children were homeschooled.

Roman’s mother, Rochelle Lopez, did a tour of service in Iraq in 2009, around the time Roman was born. Rochelle Lopez experienced physical and mental health challenges as a result of her service, so Roman spent his first seven years with his paternal grandmother, Jackie Farah, in Wisconsin. Farah described Roman as “funny, goofy and loved to dance,” and Rochelle noted that “he loved trains and he loved cars and he loved being in the water. He was a little water bug.” Rochelle Lopez last saw Roman in 2018 “after a custody agreement with his father fell apart.” Around that time Roman went to live with the Pipers in Michigan and later Pennsylvania, where Roman “became distant” from Farah and the abuse began March 1, 2018. Around the same time, when Roman was in third grade, Lindsay Piper pulled all the children out of school to homeschool them, explicitly in order to hide the abuse. In his victim statement, Carson noted that “She told people we were homeschooled but we weren’t… It was to protect herself from school counselors and staff. I believe that if we had gone to school that someone would have had a feeling that something was off and that she would have been reported.” Carson and Brock also reported that Lindsay Piper coached the children to lie to authorities about the abuse and threatened to abuse them if they did not participate in abusing their siblings. The family moved often to avoid detection. In December 2019, Jordan Piper also began grooming and creating pornographic images of a girl who lived in the home.

Lindsay Peters whipped Roman with a cord, zip-tied him to a bed by his fingers, zip-tied him in a stress position in the closet, and forced him to sleep in a box or closet without access to a bathroom. She also starved him, so at the time of Roman’s death he weighed only 42 lbs., the weight of a 5-year-old. She mixed poison into Roman’s drinking water; he was dehydrated when he died. She deprived Roman of medical care—he had not visited a medical professional in several years at the time of his death. About two months before Roman’s death, the Pipers moved the family to California where they rented a house.

The abuse came to light when Roman was reported missing in January 2020. After a community search, later that same day, his body was found in a storage bin in the Pipers’ basement. After a lengthy investigation, the Pipers were finally arrested Feb. 4, 2021 and charged with child abuse, poisoning, and torture. In April 2021, Rochelle Lopez died before the Pipers could be charged with Roman’s murder; they were finally charged in October 2021 as the investigation continued. In June 2022, Jordan Piper was additionally charged with sexual exploitation of a child; his case is ongoing. As part of a plea deal, in July 2022, Lindsay Piper pled “no contest” to murder and the other charges against her were dropped; she was sentenced to 15 years to life.

Date: January 11, 2020
Location:
Placerville, California Read More

Olivia Huggler, and 2 siblings

Daniel Alvey (L) and Samuel Huggler

Olivia Rose Huggler, b. 2003, was murdered, and two of her brothers (born between 1996 and 2003) were shot, as part of an apparent murder-for-hire plot in which her brother, Samuel Huggler (b. 1996), and his friend, Daniel Alvey (b. 2003), were implicated. Olivia and her siblings were homeschooled, as was Alvey.

Samuel Huggler was the oldest child of Steve and Ami Huggler, who had a large homeschooling family and attended Maranatha Baptist Church. At the time she was murdered, Olivia had recently turned 18 and was in 12th grade. She owned her own cleaning business, was admired for her musical talent, and was an outdoor enthusiast. Alvey also attended Maranatha Baptist Church, and he and Samuel Huggler worked together; Alvey also lived in a house owned by someone in the Huggler family.

According to Alvey, Samuel Huggler hired Alvey to murder one of Samuel’s siblings. Alvey drove to the Hugglers’ home and shot Olivia and two of her brothers, who were unloading groceries in the garage. Olivia was killed and her brothers were seriously injured. Alvey fled the scene and was apprehended. Alvey and Samuel Huggler were charged with conspiracy; Alvey was charged with murder and attempted murder, and Samuel Huggler was charged with inducing attempted murder. Later, the charges against Samuel Huggler were dropped when Alvey refused to testify against him.

Date: December 14, 2021
Location:
Evansville, Indiana Read More

Child of Bobby and Rebecca Richmond

Bobby Richmond (L) and Rebecca Richmond

An 8-year-old girl, A. (b. 2014), was tortured, imprisoned, and starved by her father, Bobby Richmond, and his wife Rebecca Richmond. Bobby Richmond’s mother Carol Richmond, who also lived in the home, was aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it. A. was homeschooled. 

Bobby Richmond had a prior felony conviction that barred him from owning a firearm, though he illegally possessed one. A. “expressed terror at seeing her father” and reported that Bobby Richmond also abused his wife, Rebecca Richmond. The Richmonds may have had more than one child, as Bobby Richmond reported that he had previously placed his children in social services’ custody for their own protection. The Richmonds’ home was unsanitary and they kept A. locked up in a laundry room with exposed wires, cleaning supplies, and “a little desk sitting up there for her to do homeschool type work.” Despite the available food in the house, the Richmonds starved A., feeding her only beans on the day she was rescued. They tortured her with a cattle prod and shaved her head. When she was rescued, A. was covered in her own urine, wearing only underwear, with marks all over her body. Bobby Richmond claimed that he was unaware of his daughter’s living conditions because he was always working.

The abuse came to light in February 2022 when a relative who owned the home visited, noticed the abuse, and called the authorities. Bobby, Rebecca, and Carol Richmond were charged with felony child neglect, and Bobby Richmond was also charged with unlawful possession of a deadly weapon.

Date: February 8, 2022
Location:
Bragg, Raleigh County, West Virginia Read More

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.

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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