Friday, December 8, 2017

Valeeya Brazile

Valeeya Brazile
--- - February 5, 2008

Valeeya was three years old when she passed away. She was known for smiling often and loving pancakes. She was proud that she could recognize the letter her name started with, V. She lived in a two bedroom apartment with her mother, Mia Holmes, and her mother's boyfriend, Thomas Martin. Previously, CPS had removed Valeeya and her older brother from her mother's custody due to domestic violence. A CPS social worker who had never made an unannounced visit to the home, which was supposed to happen, recommended that Valeeya and her brother be returned to their mother's care. The case was then closed.

When Valeeya died, she had multiple injuries including severe blows that had occurred over multiple periods of time. Thomas was charged with murder, assaulting a child under eight years old, and possession of marijuana for sale. Mia was charged with felony child endangerment and possession of marijuana for sale. The drug charges were dropped for both Thomas and Mia. 

In a trial, the judge discussed how CPS was aware that Valeeya had suffered many injuries, yet returned her to the same people they knew were caring for her during the time she got those injuries. Thomas was sentenced to prison for twenty-nine years to life. Mia was sentenced to twelve years. Thomas denied that he had killed Valeeya, even after being found guilty of second degree murder.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Miles Bengco

Miles Bengco
--- - June 19, 2013
Miles was eleven years old when he passed away. On June 18, 2013, Miles's mother prepared Quorn brand turkey burgers for her family. Miles ate one plain turkey burger for dinner that day while his family watched a basketball game. While eating, it was noticed that Miles cleared his throat several times. After dinner, Miles went to his bedroom and started using his nebulizer. Miles's brother heard him using the nebulizer and went into his room. He saw that Miles was having difficulties breathing.

Miles communicated to his brother that he should call 911. His brother yelled to his mother to call 911 and carried Miles downstairs and then outside to the sidewalk. Miles's family administered his Epi-Pen while they waited for help to arrive. By the time the ambulance arrived, which was soon after, Miles was unresponsive.

Miles was taken in the ambulance to the hospital. He arrived at the hospital in critical condition. He was transported to another hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The cause of Miles's death was ruled to be anaphylactic shock due to consuming mycoprotein, a mold-based product, that was in the turkey burger he ate for dinner.

The Quorn turkey burgers passed the Food and Drug Administration because the mycoprotein was added to the turkey burgers under the "GRAS" practice which refers to food additives that are "generally regarded as safe." Miles's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Quorn company. Quorn changed its labels to be sure that people would see that mycoprotein was a main ingredient in their products.

At this time, I am unable to find the results of the lawsuit.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Javier Avina

Javier Guadalupe Avina
--- - April 5, 2016

Javier was ten years old when he passed away. His parents were Hugo Avina Nunez and Melodie Dawn Avina. He was an excellent brother to Floritia, Hugo Jr., and Armando. Javier was a fifth grade student. He had many friends and was a lover of music, family, faith, and friends. He loved his teachers, going to school, fishing, and gospel music. He enjoyed playing the violin, tambourine, and the drums. He also enjoyed participating in sports.

Javier was allergic to peanuts and eggs. He also had asthma. At school, Javier had two asthma inhalers and an EpiPen to help him stay safe. On the day he passed away, he had been at school. He told his teacher that he did not feel well and went to the bathroom and vomited. After that, Javier was sent by an employee at his school to walk the short distance to the school's office.

Javier told the school secretary that he felt ill and she called the paramedics. Javier told the secretary that he had used one of his inhalers. He was having difficulties breathing and collapsed around ten minutes later. He was rushed to the hospital where he later passed away. Although Javier had his EpiPen with him, it was not used, although paramedics did give him the medication that would have been delivered by the EpiPen, although much later than the EpiPen would have been used.

An autopsy was done but it was unable to be determined whether Javier passed away due to an allergic reaction or asthma. It was also learned that one of Javier's inhalers had collapsed and had not been renewed, so the inhaler was not functioning properly. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lavender Banks

Lavender Banks
--- - May, 2008
Lavender passed away when she was three years old. She was adopted the year before her death by a woman named Sabrina Albert Banks. Sabrina had been previously accused of burning a child with a hot spoon, hitting her niece with a switch cut from a tree, and abusing a foster child that had been in her care. She was never found guilty of any of the allegations. 

In early May of 2008, the fire department was called to Sabrina's home. When they arrived, they found Lavender unresponsive. She was bleeding from her mouth and had bruises on her arms, legs, chest, back, and bottom. Paramedics stated that Lavender was deceased when they arrived. The autopsy report said that Lavender died due to blunt force trauma and possibly asphyxiation from being smothered. 

Sabrina said that she had gone to wake Lavender from a nap and found that she had vomited on herself. She said that she took Lavender to the bathroom to clean her up and noticed that she was stiff and cold. She said that she removed contents from Lavender's mouth and then began performing CPR on her. Despite this, investigators said that they believed Sabrina had waited eight hours before calling 911 for help.

Investigators were more suspicious when they found what seemed to be a suicide note on the table in the family room of the home. Sabrina was sentenced to fifteen years for pleading no contest to second degree murder, although she denied ever hurting Lavender. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Logan Bratton

Logan Edward Bratton
November 8, 2003 - April 4, 2007
Logan was born on November 8, 2003 to Willie Bratton and Donetta Ernst. At the time Logan was rushed to the hospital with a fatal head injury, he was not with his father. He was with his mother's boyfriend, Joe Mendez. Just hours before Logan was brought to the hospital unresponsive that day, he had been on errands with Joe. He was even seen playing happily with Joe's four young children. 

That morning, Joe was caring for all five children in their apartment. One of Joe's children and Logan got into a fight about some toys and Joe took Logan out of the kitchen to go discipline him, according to one of Joe's children. Shortly after this a 911 call was made by Joe. He said that Logan fell off the top bunk of a bunk bed. Later, Joe said that this had not actually happened and that he lied because he was afraid he would get in trouble if he admitted that he had hit Logan with his hand.

Joe then said that when he hit Logan, it caused Logan to fall down and hit his head on the floor or an object. Firefighters who came to the scene said they met Joe in the entryway to the apartment. Joe had Logan in his arms and didn't say much about what happened except for that Logan had fallen. Logan was pronounced brain dead after being rushed to the hospital. A doctor did not think that Logan's injuries could have been caused by a fall. Logan passed away due to his injuries which included head trauma as well as internal trauma to his abdomen.

Joe was found guilty of first degree murder in Logan's death. Joe was sentenced to fifty-five years.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Jaquinn Brewton

Jaquinn Brewton
April 8, 2008 - July 12, 2011
Jaquinn was three years old when he passed away. At the time of his death, he was in the care of a woman named Nadera Batson and her boyfriend, Marcus King. Nadera was Jaquinn's godmother. On June 29, 2011, less than a month before Jaquinn died, DHS received a phone call expressing that they believed Jaquinn had been abused. Jaquinn had been transported to the hospital that day in critical condition. He had no pulse or heart rate at the time. He passed away on July 12, 2011.

Nadera told investigators that Jaquinn had been coming down the steps, missed a step, and fell. Before that, she told the 911 operator that Jaquinn had fallen out of window. Doctors did not think his injuries could have been caused by falling on stairs or out of a window. He had bruises on his face and his abdomen. There were old and new bruises. He also had scars from being burnt on his legs and buttocks.

In the past, the family had been reported for mistreating children as well. In 2005, before Jaquinn was born, it was reported that the children were unsupervised and begging neighbors for food. In 2010, it was reported that there was not enough food in the home and that the adults in the home were using drugs. DHS only was able to assess three of the six children living there for this report. Later in 2010, it was reported that the children were often late to school and that the home was too small for so many people to live in it. There were also complaints of the inhabitants of the home smelling like marijuana. In March of 2011, a report came in about one of the little girls living in the home, who was developmentally delayed and intellectually disabled. She had begun displaying sexualized behavior and increasingly aggressive behavior.

After Jaquinn's death, it was determined that he had been abused and his death was a homicide. Jaquinn had not seen his biological mother since December of 2010. She had agreed to let Jaquinn live with Nadera. Jaquinn was failed by the system as there had been two reports on his family that were not investigated within the proper time frame and he had not received monthly check ups by DHS as he was supposed to.

It was later discovered that both Nadera and Marcus had abused Jaquinn. They hit him with their fists and kicked him. In addition, they burnt him with a blow torch. Both were charged in his murder. Nadera was found guilty of third degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, child endangerment, and possession of an instrument of crime (the blowtorch) and was sentenced to twenty-eight to fifty-seven years in prison. I am unable to find any information on if Marcus was found innocent or guilty.


James Bradley

James Bradley Jr.

I am unable to find any information about James. If you know anything about James you would like me to add to his post, feel free to inform me in the comments. Thank you. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dillon Blocker

Dillon Bryan Blocker
September 26, 1997 - September 18, 2001

Dillon was born on September 26, 1997 to Denise Patch. Denise met a man named Steven McBride in February of 2001. One month after meeting Steven, Denise leased a two bedroom apartment with him to live in with him and her two children:  Dillon, and Dillon's four year old sister. Denise worked at a daycare and Steven worked at a Coca-Cola plant. Shortly after moving into the apartment, Steven stopped working.

Dillon and his sister attended the daycare their mother worked at. Dillon took speech lessons through the school district. Beginning in May of 2001, employees at the daycare, Dillon's teacher, and the school nurse all began questioning Denise about bruises they had seen on Dillon's buttocks, face, and abdomen. Denise told them that Dillon got the bruises from falling at daycare and playing.

In June of 2001, Denise came to work crying. She told her coworkers that Steven was no longer allowed to come pick up her children from daycare because she had seen him spanking Dillon. Family members also began noticing bruises on Dillon and even saw Steven strike Dillon on more than one occasion. Steven's brother said that he had seen Steven hit Dillon on his chest when he was crying. He also said he saw Steven grab Dillon's face to get his attention and hit him many times on the head to keep him awake.

By mid-July in 2001, Dillon and his sister began attending daycare less frequently. Denise later said that she chose to keep Dillon at home most of the time because he had bruises. At the end of August, Denise quit working at the daycare and instead worked the night shift at a nearby Target. Denise was now six months pregnant with Steven's child. While she went to work, Steven was at home watching the children.

Once, when Denise returned from work she noticed bruises on Dillon's shoulders and back. She also saw bite marks on his wrists. Steven told her that the bruises were from Dillon falling and rolling under his sister's bicycle. He said that Dillon had bit his own wrists. Denise said she was afraid to let Dillon go to someone else's care or get out of the house because she thought that if someone saw his injuries, child protective services would take him away from her. She refused to let his new speech teacher come for a home visit and made up lies about why Dillon could not go to the first few weeks of his speech class. 

On September 17, the day before Dillon passed away, Denise said she did not notice anything abnormal about him. He ate all three meals and spent the day playing with his toys, napping, and watching videos. He still had bruises on his cheeks and bite marks on his wrists. That afternoon, Denise said that she watched Dillon use the bathroom and didn't notice injuries on his genitals or abdomen. After Dillon's death, investigators found out that he had been sexually abused.

At some point during September 17, Dillon showed his mother bumps on his tongue. She gave him medication and put Orajel on his tongue. She got the children ready for bed and left for her shift which was at 9:30. When she left for work, Dillon was wearing a sweatshirt that had a picture of a soccer ball on the front.

Sometime between 2:15 and 2:45 in the early morning, Steven called Denise and said that Dillon had fallen in the bathroom. He said that during the fall, Dillon had hurt his head and his penis and that he was now crying. Steven asked that Denise come home. When Denise got home Dillon had another injury on his face across his cheek and his eyes. He had a red mark on his penis and a scrape on his forehead. He was now wearing a different shirt than he had been wearing when Denise had left for work.

Denise put ice on Dillon's head and penis and noticed that he was having an even harder time than usual speaking and that he was breathing oddly. She called poison control to ask if the Orajel she had put on his tongue hours before could have this effect on him. Poison control told her that Orajel should not cause that. She asked Steven if they should take Dillon to the doctor many times because of his breathing and she was concerned that he might have a concussion. Steven said they should not take him to the doctor unless he wasn't fine in the morning.

Both Steven and Denise took Dillon to their bedroom and propped him up on some pillows. Steven laid on the bed with Dillon and Denise read directions on how to perform CPR. Denise approached Steven with a telephone and asked if they should call 911. Steven told her to put the phone down and told her again that Dillon would be fine until the morning came. Denise eventually fell asleep on the couch in the living room.

When Denise woke up that morning, she went into the bedroom and found that Dillon was dead. She called 911 while Steven took Dillon to the living room. Denise tried to give Dillon CPR but it was no help. When officers entered the apartment, they saw Dillon lying on the love seat in the living room. They confirmed that he was deceased.

Police asked what happened to Dillon and Steven as well as Denise informed them that during the night, the toilet seat had fallen on Dillon's penis, causing him to fall down and hit his head. Police didn't think this story seemed accurate and they could see physical injuries on Dillon so they decided that an investigation should be done.

A crime scene investigation was done at the apartment. Blood was found on the walls and doors of the bathroom and Denise and Steven's bedroom. Blood was also found on multiple items in the bathroom. There was a cloth belt from a robe hidden behind containers in the closet that was still wet with blood and saliva. The blood and saliva was confirmed to be Dillon's. Denise's saliva and Dillon's was found around Dillon's mouth, which was explained by Denise attempting CPR on Dillon after he died.

The toilet was measured and measurements were taken of Dillon and it was concluded that Dillon would have had to have been "almost on his knees" or squatted down in order for the toilet seat to fall on his penis. The autopsy estimated that Dillon died around 5 a.m. that day. The autopsy also said that Dillon had injuries that were one to four days old at the time of his death on the inside of his abdomen. The autopsy concluded that Dillon's small bowel had likely ruptured some time before his death, allowing its contents to leak into his abdomen and cause infection. Newer injuries to various organs in his abdomen only added to the infection.

Dillon had old and recent injuries to his head. The surface of his brain was bleeding and his brain was swollen. His official cause of death was the injuries to his head and brain, although the other injuries had also definitely contributed to his death. Dillon also had numerous rib fractures in various stages of healing. He had bite marks all over his body, also occurring on various dates, as well as bruises and scrapes on many parts of his body.

One of Dillon's front teeth had been knocked out and was found in his stomach during his autopsy. He had small circular burns on his palms and wrists that appeared to have been caused by cigarettes. Injuries that occurred on many dates were also found on Dillon's penis and scrotum. There were bruises and scrapes all over his penis and scrotum. It was believed that the injuries to the tip of his penis were most recent, as well as some of the bruises on his scrotum. The injuries on the tip of his penis were bite marks.

Molds of the teeth of Denise, Steven, Steven's brother, and Dillon's sister were made to determine who had bitten Dillon. It was determined that Steven was the one who had bitten Dillon on the base of his penis, the left side of his scrotum, and his tongue. The source of the other marks were unable to be determined. 

One of Dillon's neighbors testified that he had heard loud noises the night before Dillon died. He said it sounded like something was hitting the wall. Another neighbor said that she had heard a little boy crying and saying, "It hurt." and then heard an adult tell the little boy, "Shut up." A woman that had called Steven on the phone said that during one phone call she heard a little boy crying. Steven had told her that the little boy's name was Dillon and that his neighbors, who he claimed were Dillon's parents, were fighting. He said he was babysitting Dillon until the fighting calmed down. She heard Dillon say, "I'm tired." and heard Steven tell him to stand up and that he could not lay down. Steven then told the woman that he was going to bring Dillon back to his parents because Dillon was "stupid" and he did not want to be around him anymore.

When investigators talked to Dillon's sister, she said that after her mother left, Steven put Dillon in time-out and made him stand by the door. She was supposed to be asleep in her bedroom, she said, but she had heard Steven hitting Dillon with a belt. She said that was "what got bruises all over him." She said that Steven would put them in the bathroom and check to see if there were bruises on them after spanking them. She said that her mother and Steven would argue all the time about "owies." 

When investigators searched the apartment, they found a note written by Denise to Steven. In it she asked that Steven not spank Dillon and not play rough with him, as the burns had to heal. She also said that he had dry blood on his lips. In a note written by Denise to herself, she wrote that she told Steven to keep his hands off Dillon but he wouldn't. She also said that Steven could not control his temper and she couldn't "deal" with Steven because he always left marks on Dillon, and now he had to miss another entire week of school.

A jury indicted Steven on four counts for Dillon's death: Murder in the first degree while committing child abuse, murder in the first degree while committing criminal sexual conduct, murder in the second degree (intentional), and murder in the second degree (commission of felony). The jury found him guilty on all counts except for intentional murder in the second degree. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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Peachlyn Bradley

Peachlyn Bradley
May 6, 1991 - April 19, 1995

Peachlyn was born on May 6, 1991. Her aunt said she was only three years old, but she acted as if she were twenty-three years old. Peachlyn was friends with everyone she met and was very funny. Peachlyn, along with nineteen other toddlers, was killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing carried out by a man named Timothy McVeigh. One hundred sixty-eight people died because of the bombing. 

Peachlyn died in the bombing along with her grandmother, Cheryl Bradley Hammons. Her three month old brother, Gabreon Bruce, also died in the bombing. Peachlyn's family was in the building to get a social security card for Gabreon. Peachlyn's mother, Dana, and Peachlyn's aunt, Felicia, were also injured in the bombing. Dana's leg was amputated, though both she and her sister Felicia recovered from the injuries and survived.

The man who bombed the building, Timothy McVeigh, had rented a truck and filled it with explosives before parking it outside of the Alfred P. Murrah building. He said that he did this to fight the government, which he viewed as tyrannical. In court, he said that he wanted revenge for the people who died in the Waco barracks in Texas. Although Peachlyn was not in the daycare in the Alfred P. Murrah building, fifteen of the children who passed away that day were. Timothy later said he didn't know that there was a daycare in the building and that if he had known, he would have considered targeting another building.

Timothy was sentenced to death for the bombing that stole so many lives. He was executed in 2001.

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Jhornee Bland

Jhornee Adreia Bland
April 22, 2014 - May 8, 2016
Jhornee was born on April 22, 2014 to Jackqailine Hardin. She was known as being a very happy little girl who adored her brothers and sisters. On the day Jhornee went missing, her mother had left her with a woman named Tyerria Miles, her babysitter. When Jhornee's mother returned, Jhornee was not there. When Jackqailine asked where Jhornee was, Tyerria said that she had left Jhornee with an acquaintance who lived nearby. 

The police got involved in Jhornee's disappearance. Jhornee was not where Tyerria said that she would be. Jhornee's mother and police began searching for her. Jackqailine went door to door, knocking and showing photos of Jhornee hoping that somebody would have seen her. Nobody had. Finally, Tyerria told police where she had left Jhornee's body.

Tyerria was telling the truth about where Jhornee's body was:  in a field. She was arrested after Jhornee's body was located, but then released when an autopsy could not determine what had caused Jhornee's death. She claimed that she had not done anything to harm Jhornee at all and that her only fault was hiding Jhornee's body instead of properly reporting her death.

Tyerria pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with law enforcement and was sentenced to eighteen months probation. The cause of Jhornee's death is still unknown.


Devante Burns

Devante Dayshawn Burns
April 12, 2002 - September 25, 2012

Dante was born on April 12, 2002. He passed away when he was ten years old. I am unable to find any information about what happened to Devante. If you know anything about Devante you want to be on his post, please inform me in the comments and I will add it. Thank you. 


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Brooklyn Brown

Brooklyn Nicole Brown
January 24, 2008 - November 29, 2008
Brooklyn was born on January 24, 2008 to Kyle and Kasey Brown. Brooklyn's parents had split up at a point during Brooklyn's life. Her mother began dating another man, Michael Janzen. Near the end of Brooklyn's life, her mother was having relationship issues with Michael and was going to break up with him and get back together with Brooklyn's father, Kyle.

When Brooklyn was ten months old, she was left alone with Michael. He was babysitting her at his home. At one point during the day, Brooklyn was rushed by an ambulance to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Michael originally said he was carrying Brooklyn to the bathroom to give her a bath and that she had fallen down on the vinyl floor. 

When the doctors that had tried to save Brooklyn's life told police that Brooklyn's injuries didn't look like they were caused from a fall, Michael was questioned further. This time, Michael admitted that Brooklyn had not fallen down, but that he had grown frustrated with Brooklyn's mother and took it out on Brooklyn. He said that he loved Brooklyn's mother but he knew she was going to go back to Kyle. Because of this, he slammed Brooklyn into the floor twice.

Michael said that after he slammed Brooklyn into the floor, her eyes rolled back in her head and she became unresponsive. After this, Michael took Brooklyn to the grocery store with him and then took her to her mother's work. It was then that an ambulance was called for help. The nurses assisted Brooklyn in breathing and she was stabilized, but she had a large skull fracture. Doctors knew that if she did survive, she would be in a vegetative state. Brooklyn passed away later that night.

Michael was charged with first degree murder. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

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Jose Bailey

Jose Luis Garcia Bailey
--- - ---

Jose was almost twelve years old when he passed away. Jose was known for being a kind and active boy who took pride in being a big brother. On the day he passed away, he had been walking home with his mother and sisters. He had just went with them to buy orange juice. He crossed the street to go join a group of his friends that were standing outside. Two men approached the group and began shooting. Jose and an adult man were shot.

Jose was dragged away by one of his friends during the shooting. He was rushed to the hospital where a surgeon worked to try and save his life. He said that he knew that saving Jose was not possible and that his mother also knew that, but had begged him to save Jose's life. He did the best he could, but Jose could not be saved. The other shooting victim survived.

The shooting was believed to be gang-related, although Jose and the other victim were not involved in any gangs. The shooters have never been identified. Witnesses refused to come forward, and those that did come forward had little information to share with the police. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Victoria Brackbill

Victoria Ruth Brackbill
July 30, 2014 - March 27, 2016
Victoria, often called "Tori" by those who knew her, was born on July 30, 2014 to Brennan and Lesa Brackbill. She was a happy little girl and developing completely normally until she was five months old. Then, Victoria regressed in her milestones and stopped smiling. Six weeks after her symptoms began, Victoria was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, which is a rare and terminal genetic disease that there is no cure for. This disease could have been treated if Victoria was tested for it at birth, but there was not a treatment available for Victoria by the time she was diagnosed. 

Victoria was given a life expectancy of thirteen months. She exceeded that expectancy and thrived. Her parents made a bucket list for her to make sure that she experienced as many amazing things as possible during her time with them. She was able to complete forty-nine of the items on her bucket list before passing away on March 27, 2016, which was Easter Sunday.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Amari Barnhill

Amari Raynard Barnhill
December 2012 - November 2015

Amari was two years old when he passed away. His parents were Nakesa Barnhill and Darien Head. One day, at around 8:30 in the morning, Amari was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive. At the hospital, Amari was pronounced dead. He had a laceration on his head, bruising on the left side of his face, and more severe bruising on the front and back of his legs and his bottom. The bruises looked as if they were in multiple stages of healing, therefore from different incidents of abuse.

At the time 911 was called to Amari's home, he was in the apartment with his father, Darien, and Darien's girlfriend. Two of Darien's girlfriend's young children were also there that day. Amari's father, Darien, was arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect, as well as two other charges unrelated to Amari's abuse and death.

Darien pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He was credited for 419 days he already served and was also given ten years of probation.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Christopher Barnard

Christopher Wayne Allen Barnard
August 19, 2003 - April 28, 2008
Christopher was born on August 19, 2003 to Floyd Moore and Roxann Barnard. His stepfather was named Steven Lockler Jr. Before Christopher's death, DHS had investigated eight reports regarding his welfare. The first report came in September of 2003 when Christopher was just two weeks old. The report said that Christopher's living conditions were poor.

When Christopher was eight months old, DHS was informed of Roxann's then-boyfriend, Steven Lockler. It was reported that Christopher had bruises on his cheeks and his arms. It also said that he had a busted lip and a golf ball sized bump on his head. The report went on to say that Christopher seemed upset when Steven was around him. A DHS worker investigated the report but found no injuries on Christopher. They also interviewed friends and family and concluded that there were no signs of abuse or neglect.

The next four reports took place from November 29, 2006 to May 4, 2007. These reports said that Christopher had more unexplained bruises, bumps, and red marks. Christopher also had a black eye. When he was questioned about the black eye, he said, "Daddy did it." For these reports, a DHS worked interviewed family members and friends. Christopher's daycare staff was also interviewed and Christopher was examined. For all the reports, no signs of abuse or neglect were found.

The next report was on August 1, 2007. For this report, DHS was told that Christopher was left unsupervised in the front yard while his mother took Steven to work. The report stated that Christopher had a black eye and that Steven had "hit him hard." The caseworker went to the police for this report. There, the caseworker saw a bruise on his lower left eye. Christopher told the caseworker, "My daddy hit me with a belt."

This investigation lasted until late September of 2007. Then, the caseworker determined that there was no confirmed abuse or neglect. On April 28, 2008, Christopher was being watched by Steven. That morning, Steven called 911 and said that Christopher had fallen in the bathtub. At the hospital, Christopher was pronounced dead. Medical professionals determined that his cause of death was blunt force trauma. They also saw other injuries on Christopher that made them believe that Christopher had been abused on other instances too.

Finally, Steven admitted that while he was watching Christopher, Christopher had accidentally soiled his pants. This angered Steven so he punched him twice in his stomach. Then he hit him with a belt. Steven pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Roxann was sentenced to thirty years in prison for enabling child abuse. 

After Christopher's death, his babysitter spoke about how she had been concerned about Christopher. She said that the first day she babysat Christopher, he had a black eye. She also said that Christopher was a great little boy and that he had fun playing with her own sons. She said that when Christopher's mother would come to the door to pick him up, he would be excited, but when he saw that Steven was with her, he would cower and begin crying. She also noticed strips of bruises above his bottom and the small of his back. She said they were very dark and they hadn't been there the previous day. Roxann said that Christopher had fallen on some toys. The babysitter didn't think that was true, so she contacted DHS. After the babysitter called DHS, Roxann would not allowed her to babysit Christopher any longer. The babysitter says DHS dropped the ball by not helping Christopher and that if they would have taken him when she called, he would still be alive today. 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Alexis Buchanan

Alexis Renea Buchanan
October 26, 2006 - September 22, 2013

Alexis was born on October 26, 2006 to Kevin and Heather Buchanan. Alexis was called "Lexie" by many who knew her. She was in first grade and enjoyed school a lot. She loved her teachers and classmates. She loved Barbie dolls and Hello Kitty. She was also a fan of playing dress up. 

At the time of Alexis's death, Heather was dating a man named Mark Johnson. One day, officers were called to respond to a man that had been shot. The man was Mark. He had been shot in his hand and his stomach. When officers arrived, they saw Mark at a neighbor's house. Heather was sitting on the porch. From the porch, Heather fired twice at an officer, forcing him to take cover and wait until more officers arrived to help him. While the officer took cover, Heather went back inside the house.

When more officers came and they went into the house, they discovered that Heather had fled to the nearby forest. Officers spoke to neighbors and learned that Heather had Alexis with her. When they realized that Heather had her daughter with her, they called for helicopters to search for them. Officers and a helicopter petrol searched for Heather and Alexis for two hours before thick fog rolled in, making the search unsafe for the helicopter crew.

A few hours after the helicopter crew was called off the search, police received a phone call saying that the bodies of Heather and Alexis were found in a driveway near their home. Heather and Alexis had both been shot in their heads. Heather had shot and killed Alexis and then herself.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gavin Brummett

Gavin Lee Brummett
January 25, 2006 - April 13, 2013
Gavin was born on January 25, 2006 to Rodney and Nichole Brummett. He was in first grade and was a member of the Royal Rangers Youth Group. He was on the Bennington Bulldogs Rec. basketball team. Gavin liked doing anything outside and was known to like to go on adventures. He had two brothers named Garrett and Gunner. 

On the day Gavin passed away, he, his father, and his brother were out having a shooting trip. Gavin's father had turned away and then heard two gunshots go off. He turned around and quickly saw that Gavin had accidentally shot himself in his head with a gun. Gavin was rushed to a hospital and then airlifted to another where he was pronounced deceased shortly afterwards.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Easton Brueger

Easton Curtiss Brueger
August 11, 2004 - December 30, 2012
Easton was born on August 11, 2004 to Justin Brueger and Pamela Rogers. He was a third grade student. He liked playing with his cousins, riding four-wheelers, fishing, doing anything outside, playing video games, playing with Legos, and playing with Nerf guns. He also liked taking photographs of birds and reading history books. One of his best friends was his dog, Buddy, whom he found and rescued.

Easton passed away due to an accidental gunshot wound. He had been with his father, Justin, at the time. Justin was cleaning his gun when it accidentally went off, shooting Justin in his stomach. Justin was taken to the hospital where he later passed away due to the injury. Police charged Justin for Easton's death, saying that he put Easton at "unreasonable risk of harm" by pointing the gun in his direction while cleaning it.

Justin told the court, "I just want to say I'm very sorry to my son." He was placed on a $10,000 bond and all guns were ordered to be removed from his home. He was also ordered to stay away from Easton's mother and her family. 

Tacari Briggs

Tacari Danielle Renee Briggs
June 17, 2011 - February 27, 2013

Tacari was born on June 17, 2011 to Lance Briggs and Delana Aquirre. She had three brothers named Jarviyon, Cordaye, and Xavier. She had three sisters named Shatorrid, Zephanie, and Sakayla. She was a happy little girl that liked wrestling with her brothers and feeding her dog, Rose. She also liked climbing into the refrigerator and riding her rocking horse.

Tacari passed away after being a victim of a shooting. A man named Robert Friar shot into a bedroom of her home where she and her mother, Delana, were sleeping. Delana was also shot multiple times in her torso. Delana's mother called 911 saying that somebody had shot her daughter and her granddaughter. Both Tacari and Delana were rushed the the hospital where Tacari was pronounced deceased. Her mother was airlifted to another hospital where she was treated. She survived and recovered.

Delana had previously been in a relationship with Robert Friar. He had threatened her before shooting her, telling her in a text message that she should "kiss her mom and kids goodbye." Shortly before the shooting, Robert had called her and told her something that she couldn't make out. When she asked what he had said, he hung up. Then the shooting started. Police found Robert after the shooting and took him into custody. 

Robert was convicted of one count of capital murder, two counts of attempted murder, and seven counts of committing a terroristic act. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 165 years in prison.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Julia Barbara

Julia Barbara
--- - May 17, 2016
Julia was a happy little girl who loved anything that was considered girly. She had an older brother whom she adored very much as well. She liked dressing up as a princess and playing with her brother. Julia and her family spent Thanksgiving 2015 on the beach. She appeared completely healthy then, and she had never had any major medical issues at all. After Thanksgiving, however, Julia's parents began to notice that she had some issues with her balance and her facial movements seemed a bit off. They assumed that she had a simple ear infection.

On December 14, 2015, Julia's parents took her to the pediatrician. The pediatrician decided Julia should have a CAT scan. The CAT scan revealed that Julia had a brain tumor so an MRI was done. The next day, Julia's family went back to the hospital and waited for the results of the MRI. Then, they were told that Julia had a rare form of childhood cancer. This cancer is called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, often called "DIPG." DIPG is located in the brain stem, making it inoperable. There is no cure for DIPG, although there are treatments that will help reduce symptoms for a period of time so the child can have a more normal life, until the symptoms return, often worse than before, and claim the child's life. No child has ever lived long-term after being diagnosed with DIPG.

Julia's parents had two options:  Take Julia home and watch her decline quickly, which doctors said would happen, as brain tumors progress very quickly, or begin radiation treatment with an experimental chemotherapy drug which would prolong Julia's life. Her parents decided to try and prolong Julia's life, hoping that she would live an extra nine months than she would if no treatment was given.

Julia began six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Julia was sedated five days a week to have radiation treatment. Some aspect of the treatment made Julia feel very nauseous, so she also began taking medication for that constantly. Julia lost the use of the right side of her body, so she could no longer walk and had issues swallowing. She was also put on steroids which made her gain a lot of weight. She was always hungry. The medication made her blood pressure rise and gave her insomnia. 

Along with all these other symptoms, Julia's personality changed. Sometimes nothing could make her laugh or even smile. After six weeks of treatment, Julia got to return home. She was weaned off of steroids and it looked like radiation had shrunk her tumor. She regained the use of her right side, so she could walk by herself again. Test results showed that the chemotherapy drug she had been taking had no effect on the tumor, so she stopped taking it. 

A few weeks after returning home, Make-A-Wish helped Julia and her family go visit other family members in Europe. Julia lost the ability to move the right side of her body again and experienced headaches and nausea. She had an MRI which revealed that she had hydrocephalus, which is extra fluid in her brain. She also had radiation necrosis, which is the destruction of her healthy brain cells due to radiation. Julia was admitted into the hospital again.

To relieve the pressure in Julia's brain, she had to have surgery. This surgery did not relieve the pressure as was hoped, so Julia had to have a second surgery involving a shunt placed in her brain. The top of the shunt was connected to a valve to control the flow of fluid in her brain. The shunt extended through Julia's body and down to her stomach. This surgery was successful, but came with many side effects. Julia's eyesight was impaired. She had a large incision on her scalp. She also had to take a heavy dose of steroids.

In April, Julia was taking two times the steroids she was initially prescribed. She did not regain the use of the right side of her body this time, although they did help with reducing radiation necrosis. In late April she began to be weaned off steroids again. On May 17, 2016, Julia was still taking a lower dose of steroids. Her mobility never improved. That morning, Julia's family woke up to discover that Julia had passed away in her sleep at the family home. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Natasha Gould

Natasha Rose Gould
January 28, 2004 - August 4, 2016
Natasha was born on January 28, 2004. On May 1, 2015, Natasha's mother took her to the hospital because she felt weak in her left arm and her left leg. She had also been experiencing double vision. Doctors gave Natasha and MRI. The MRI revealed that Natasha had a brain tumor in her brain stem. This was a form of cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is often just called "DIPG." DIPG is a rare form of childhood cancer that no cure has been developed for. Due to its location, the tumor is unable to be surgically removed. There are treatments for DIPG that will improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with it for a short period of time before the cancer ultimately comes back and claims the child's life. No child has ever survived DIPG long term.

Natasha bravely fought DIPG for fifteen months. She even kept a blog as she battled cancer. She passed away on August 4, 2016. 


Azalea Harper

Azalea Harper
May 17, 2011 - January 3, 2015
Azalea was born on May 17, 2011 to Delilah and Dee. Those who knew her gave her the nickname "Azzy." On Azalea's third birthday, in 2014, she had a birthday party filled with a lot of fun. The next day her family noticed that she was limping. They were not that concerned and thought she might have just hurt herself a bit and that she would be back to normal soon.

The next day, Azalea was still limping. Her family prepared to take her to the doctor. When they told her to put her shirt on, they noticed that she had trouble lifting her right arm to do so. Her father began to worry a bit more but he thought that it was likely that she had fallen and hurt herself during the excitement of her birthday party two days before. 

A few hours after this, Azalea and her mother, Delilah, went to the hospital. Six hours later Delilah called Azalea's father and told him that he needed to come to the hospital because Azalea was having an MRI. He went to the hospital and talked to a few doctors. The family waited in the waiting room for the results of the MRI. When they were finished, four doctors came into the room to talk to Azalea's parents.

One doctor told them that he was sorry and that he had hoped Azalea had a stroke, but they had discovered that something much more serious was happening. There was a tumor in Azalea's brain stem that was the size of a golf ball. It was a form of cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, often referred to as DIPG.

There is no cure for DIPG and it cannot be surgically removed due to its location in the brain. While there are treatments for DIPG, they only help reduce symptoms for a short period of time, allowing the child to have a few months where they can have what is considered a "normal life" before the cancer comes back stronger than ever and ultimately takes the child's life. No child has survived DIPG long-term.

Azalea's father asked how long Azalea had to live. Doctors weren't sure, but because Azalea's tumor was so large, they guessed that she only had six to eight weeks left. They were told they could treat Azalea with radiation and chemotherapy to attempt to prolong her life. Friends suggested the family look into cannabis oil. They got their medical marijuana license and were able to treat Azalea with the oil. In addition, she went through six weeks of radiation.

During treatments, Azalea was feeling quite ill. She stopped eating, talking, and walking. The cannabis oil helped her walk and talk again. When Azalea got another MRI, the tumor had shrunk by 67%. Azalea got a bit better. The third MRI, unfortunately, showed that the tumor had not shrunk at all, but the good news was that it had not grown larger either. 

After her last radiation treatment, doctors were impressed that Azalea was doing so well. She was up singing and dancing. Her family created a GoFundMe page to be able to continue buying her the expensive cannabis oil. People donated, but when they saw Azalea feeling well enough to play, they began to stop donating. They assumed she was getting better, even though she needed the expensive treatments to stay feeling better.

In late December, Azalea began feeling very sick and weak again. On December 20, she had her fourth MRI. This time, the tumor was as big as it was during her first MRI. Her family was told that she did not have much longer to live and hospice was called. She was able to spend Christmas with her family and open some of her presents.

On December 28, Azalea began breathing oddly. The doctor told her family that she probably only had about a day left to live. They notified everyone in their family so they could come say goodbye. On January 2, Azalea's breathing was even worse. Her family called the hospice doctor who informed them that Azalea was in the process of dying and that she only had an hour or two left. Friends and family were called to say goodbye. 

The hospice doctor gave Azalea's family more medications to be sure that she was not in pain during the process. Around sixty friends and family members came to be with Azalea. Azalea's mother was holding her and her father was beside her as she took her last breath on January 3. 

Defeat DIPG

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hadlie Hoglund

Hadlie Violet Hoglund
March 28, 2011 - March 29, 2015
Hadlie was born on March 28, 2011. She had an older brother named Kade. Hadlie loved her family and was known for being a happy and sweet little girl. She liked the color purple, princesses, Hello Kitty, beef jerky, and cupcakes. Shortly after Hadlie's third birthday, her family began noticing that she was limping. They waited to see if she would stop limping on her own, but when she kept limping, they took her to get x-rays.

X-rays showed nothing abnormal, but Hadlie looked like she was losing her balance too. She also lost some mobility in her left hand. This was the same side that she was limping on. When she tried to catch a ball, she couldn't even close her hand. Her parents now knew that whatever was wrong was serious and they suspected that it was neurological. They took Hadlie to the hospital but were unable to meet with a pediatrician. They had to wait for an appointment.

Two days later, Hadlie's parents brought her back to the hospital and insist that she have a CT scan. They knew something was very wrong. Hadlie was given the CT scan which revealed she had a tumor in her brain. They were flown that day to another hospital to have an MRI. They waited for the results from the MRI. Hadlie's parents thought that the worst case scenario would be that she would have to have surgery to remove the tumor and give her chemotherapy. 

Unfortunately, Hadlie's parents were wrong and Hadlie's condition was much more serious. She was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, often just called DIPG. DIPG has no cure, but there are treatments that help lessen symptoms to improve the child's quality of life for a short period of time until the symptoms return and ultimately take the child's life. Because of the location of the tumor, it cannot be surgically remove. No child has survived DIPG long-term.

Hadlie's family decided to live the remainder of her life to the fullest and vowed not to waste a single second with Hadlie. Hadlie got to go see the Red Sox and go to Disneyland twice. She got to go horseback riding and go to two luaus in Maui. These were just a few things on Hadlie's bucket list. The last item on her bucket list was turning four years old. She accomplished this the day before she passed away surrounded by love from her adoring family.

Defeat DIPG

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Abigail Greene

Abigail Rose Greene
February 10, 2009 - June 15, 2017
Abigail was born on February 10, 2009 to Adam and Rachel Greene. She had one little sister named Emma. Those who knew her often called her "Abby." She was kind, funny, compassionate, sweet, and smart. She cared about others and their feelings. She always wanted everybody to be happy. Abigail was talkative and curious. She was in Girl Scouts. She liked making art, reading, swimming, making music, and playing with her sister and her cousins.

One day, Abigail's parents noticed that Abigail seemed to have lost her balance and been much more clumsy than usual. They thought it was probably just because of a growth spurt. When this didn't improve and actually got worse, her parents decided to take her to her pediatrician who told them they should give Abigail and MRI just to be sure everything was okay.

The MRI showed that Abigail had a brain tumor. Five days after the brain tumor was discovered, Abigail as diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, often just called DIPG. DIPG has no cure and due to its location, it is inoperable. There are treatments that help reduce symptoms for a short period of time, but then they come back, worse than before. There have been no cases where a child diagnosed with DIPG survived long term. Upon diagnosis, Abigail was given six to twelve months left to live.

Abigail went through radiation treatments in hopes to make her life longer. She fought bravely for nine months after her diagnosis before passing away. Her father said that she lived each of those days to the fullest. 


Friday, July 28, 2017

Raytwan Briggs

Raytwan M. Briggs
December 17, 2008 - July 7, 2013
Raytwan was born on December 17, 2008 to Robin Briggs Jr. and Tiana Easterly. He attended preschool and was a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants. He had two brothers named Robin and Rasheed. He also had a sister named Zyiah. He had four half-sisters named Kae'lynn, Ka'lise, Ka'leyah, and Zy'Niah. 

Raytwan died due to a gunshot wound to his head. Investigators found three handguns in his home after his death. His grandmother, Pamela Easterly, reported that Raytwan had been playing with the gun in the same room as his five year old and one year old siblings when he accidentally shot himself in the head. His parents were not home at the time and his grandmother was the one who called 911.

Pamela was charged with child endangerment for failing to supervise children resulting in Raytwan's death. She was found guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation. She is also not allowed to own or use firearms. She stated, "I am so sorry that happened to my grandbaby. I love him so much. I think about him all the time." The judge told her he believed she was sorry and that this certainly wasn't something she did on purpose, but the law said she was at fault.

Nazario Boykins

Nazario Boykins
--- - March, 2013
Nazario was two years old when he passed away. One of Nazario's neighbors described him as being a nice little boy. Another neighbor described Nazario as being a "nice kid" that everybody liked. On the day Nazario passed away, he was with his mother, Miranda Boykins, and her twenty-four year old brother, Andre Boykins Jr. A neighbor who lived on the floor above Nazario, his mother, and his grandmother, heard gunshots that day while he was outside of his apartment.

Miranda had rushed Nazario upstairs to that neighbor's apartment and banged on the door to ask for help, but the neighbor was outside. Inside the apartment was his mother, but she was disabled due to a stroke and unable to help Miranda and Nazario. Through a window in the hallway, other neighbors say they saw Miranda get shot again. She and Nazario had already been shot before. The shooter was Miranda's brother, Andre.

Miranda ran back downstairs and put Nazario in the apartment before running elsewhere in the building to look for help. She believed Nazario was already dead. She was screaming, "He killed my baby! Help me!" Help was called and Miranda and Nazario were both brought to the hospital. Nazario was transferred to another hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Andre was charged with capital murder in Nazario's death. He was also charged with attempted murder for shooting Miranda. In the trial, Andre said that he loved Nazario and his sister and that he was sorry for what he had done. He pleaded guilty to his charges and received two life sentences. Miranda said she loved her brother and that "it wasn't him that night."