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.



Sources:
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. 

Sources:

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."





Sources:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Liberty Arnold-Simon

Liberty Maya Arnold-Simon
August 22, 2010 - December 20, 2015
Liberty was born on August 22, 2010 to Sara and Bill Simon. She had a little sister named Verity. She loved rainbows. Giraffes were her favorite zoo animal and she liked Chinese food. She wanted to be a lifeguard at the pool when she grew up, and then wanted to be a space midwife. She wanted to have four children. She was looking forward to kindergarten and attending Girl Scouts more than she already had gotten to attend while she was sick.

On August 19, 2015, Liberty choked on a pretzel, alarming her parents a bit. They dismissed it quickly. Children choke sometimes. The next day they noticed her eyes were crossed. Two days later, on the day she had her birthday party for her fifth birthday, she had issues walking. She said it felt like her legs were coming out from under her. Her parents took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, often called DIPG.

DIPG is a cancerous brainstem tumor. Due to its location, it is inoperable. There is no cure for DIPG, but there are treatments to temporarily reduce symptoms to give diagnosed children better quality of life until symptoms ultimately return. No child has ever survived DIPG long-term. Liberty was given a high dose of steroids, and medications to reduce aggressiveness steroids caused. She spent a week at the hospital, her condition continuing to worsen, before she was allowed to go home.

Next, Liberty was taken to another hospital where she would try a clinical trial. This included a biopsy. She spent several days in the hospital during which she was not able to eat. Then she went home and received small doses of radiation closer to her house. Unfortunately, Liberty's condition continued to worsen in the following two weeks. 

Liberty lost the ability to swallow, talk, and walk. She lost many of her abilities and eventually could barely move at all, although she was still completely cognitively aware of what was happening. She communicated with her family by moving one eye that she could move up and down. Radiation was not helping her. All of this happened within two weeks of being diagnosed.

Liberty got a shunt and a g-tube and encountered other problems as a result of both. She got pink eye, a urinary tract infection, as well as usual symptoms that come with DIPG. Many times, symptoms can be reduced with treatment and children can have a few months, sometimes even a year, of a mostly normal life before symptoms come back and ultimately end their lives. Liberty did not get this period of time and her doctors said that she had "the worst of the worst DIPG."

Liberty got Avastin as part of the clinical trial, which also had many effects on her. She got medical grade whole plant THC and CBD oils. She tried an experimental drug and even got approved for another drug, though it was never given to her. She participated in art therapy and music therapy, and went into palliative care before passing away on December 20, 2015.




Sources:
Defeat DIPG

Aaliyah Boyer

Aaliyah Destiny Boyer
August 27, 2002 - January 3, 2013
Aaliyah was born on August 27, 2002 Vincent Boyer and Crystal Blackburn. She was a fourth grade student. Aaliyah liked karate, swimming, basketball, singing, and playing the violin. She was a member of the Kid's Club at her church. She had two brothers named EJ and Vincent Jr. She also had four sisters named Kayla, Jessica, Marrisa, and Netalia.

Aaliyah passed away two days after New Year's Eve. On New Year's Eve, she was celebrating the holiday with her family at her grandfather's house. She went outside to watch some fireworks when a bullet struck her head. The bullet came from a gun fired by a man who was celebrating the new year by shooting the gun into the air. The identity of the shooter is unknown. Aaliyah passed away two days later. Many of her organs were donated. 

The police could tell Aaliyah's family that the bullet came from an AK-47 rifle, but still could not identify the shooter. They also said it would be difficult to find the shooter because many of those weapons were unregistered. Aaliyah's family asks that if you know who the shooter is to please tell the authorities and that if you are the shooter, they know the shooting was an accident, but will continue searching for the shooter for the rest of their lives.

The shooting took place on December 31, 2012 in Elkton, Maryland. 






Sources:
Find a Grave

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Alysa Bobbitt

Alysa Jean Bobbitt
July 19, 2007 - June 27, 2013
Alysa was born on July 19, 2007 to Christopher Bobbitt and Danielle Wilson. She liked coloring, reading, swimming, and flowers. She loved playing with her cousins and looking at pretty cars. She also loved cows. She would see them when visiting her grandparents and would "moo" at them. She liked playing with her guinea pig and playing dress-up too. She was proud to complete kindergarten and liked that she could spell and write her name.

Alysa was killed when a man named Jon Meyer Jr. used his assault rifle as a crutch to help him get up off of his couch. The gun went off and the bullets went through the ceiling of his apartment, going through it and into his neighbor's apartment. Alysa and her mother were visiting the occupants of that apartment. Alysa was wounded and killed and a woman was severely injured. 

Jon pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six years in prison


Sources:
Find a Grave

Michael Bisbee

Michael Anthony Bisbee III
May 17, 2004 - April 17, 2013
Michael was born on May 17, 2004 to Roberta and Michael Bisbee. He had an older sister named Micah and a younger sister named Madden. His nickname was "BB." Michael was an amazing athlete who enjoyed football, basketball, mini golf, and baseball. His team won second in the Basketball Against Alcohol and Drugs tournament. He had also been selected as an all star. He liked dirt biking, fishing, cutting wood, and hunting. He loved his parents, sisters, and uncles. He spent a lot of time with them.

Michael passed away after accidentally being shot in his chest. He had been rushed to the hospital where he later passed away.



Sources:
Find a Grave

Nevaeh Brookens-Roldan

Nevaeh Estellita Brookens-Roldan
December 3, 2014 - December 3, 2015
Nevaeh was born on December 3, 2014. She passed away on her first birthday. Her mother was Hallelujah Brookens. At the time of Nevaeh's death, Hallelujah was dating a man named Nathaniel Watkins. Hallelujah and Nevaeh lived with Nathaniel. Hallelujah began noticing that Nevaeh had injuries during times when she was with Nathaniel, but Nevaeh remained in Nathaniel's care.

One day, Nathaniel was caring for Nevaeh while Hallelujah was at a class. Emergency responders were called to the home where they found Nevaeh unresponsive. She had multiple injuries and was in cardiac arrest. Nathaniel told them that he had put Nevaeh in her crib, but she wouldn't stop crying, so he yelled at her and shook her. When Nevaeh became limp, he stopped shaking her. He put her in a cold bath to revive her, took her out, dressed her, and laid her on the couch. He said he left the room and when he came back, Nevaeh had fallen to the floor and was gasping for breath.

Nathaniel said that when he found Nevaeh on the floor, he shook her again and then "dropped" her in her crib before going to two neighbors to ask for help. Nevaeh was put on life support and then taken off on her first birthday. Nathaniel was arrested for child abuse and Hallelujah was arrested for permitting child abuse. Later, more charges were added to Nathaniel's arrest. He pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in murder and child neglect. The child neglect charge was due to the fact that he hadn't immediately gotten help for Nevaeh. He was sentenced to life in prison. I am unable to find information about Hallelujah's case and if she was guilty or not.







Sources:
Find a Grave

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nevaeh Bryant

Nevaeh Angel Bryant
December 30, 2009 - September 30, 2011
Nevaeh was born on December 30, 2009 to Samantha Leonard and Ocpher Bryant. She was said to have had an infectious smile and an amazing personality. She was a very happy little girl. Nevaeh passed away due to multiple injuries sustained when she was attacked by three dogs. The dogs were pit bulls. Her mother, Samantha Leonard, had left her with her aunt that day.

Nevaeh's aunt, Erica Hobdy, had put her dogs in a separate room while Nevaeh was visiting so they could not have access to her. Nevaeh was put down for a nap on a mattress on the floor. Her aunt left her there and was going out to get drinks for her teenage son and his friends. She told her sons to watch out for Nevaeh in case she woke up. She was leaving when she remembered she left her pocketbook in her bedroom. She asked her ten year old son to get her pocketbook for her. In the process, he went into the room the dogs were in and forgot to shut the door behind him.

The dogs exited the room and found Nevaeh. They began attacking her. During and after the attack, many 911 calls were received in response to it. One was from a downstairs neighbor who found Nevaeh on the floor when she went to investigate screams she heard. The dogs were euthanized due to their aggressive behavior and the severity of the attack on Nevaeh. Two of the three dogs had previously attacked another dog that was being walked on a leash. Another dog previously owned by Erica had bit one of her son's friends. He was nine years old at the time.

Erica was arrested for criminal negligent homicide. She pleaded guilty to this charge and received one year in jail, which was suspended. She also received three years probation in which she is not allowed to supervise young children other than her own or own dogs.


Sources:
Legacy

Nevaeh Benson

Nevaeh L. M. Benson
--- - January 19, 2013
Nevaeh was six years old when she passed away. Her father was Edmund Benson. On the day Nevaeh died, she was with her father and her uncle, Christopher. Christopher said that he watched Nevaeh go upstairs to get something for her sister. Shortly after, they heard a large thumping sound. Her father ran up the stairs and then began screaming for help.

Nevaeh had found a gun and picked it up, accidentally shooting herself. She was rushed to the hospital where she later passed away. The gunshot wound was to her face, and the gun was hidden under the bed, but located in a room that was filled with toys. Edmund was charged in Nevaeh's death. It was also found that he was not supposed to have a gun in his possession due to a sex offense when he was a juvenile. He had also not reported his address to authorities, as he was supposed to due to the offense.

Edmund pleaded guilty to attempted involuntary manslaughter and having weapons while under disability. He was sentenced to three years in prison. 

Jacob Ball

Jacob R. Ball
September 16, 2007 - January 8, 2013

Jacob was born on September 16, 2007 to Jessica and Russell Ball. He was five years old when he passed away. His father was Russel Ball. Russell had just separated from his wife and was suffering from depression. The night before it was discovered that Jacob had passed away, his father was caring for him. He was supposed to take Jacob to day care the next day, and Jessica was going to pick him up from day care. 

During that night, Russell sent Jessica lengthy text messages and told her that he was going to kill himself. Because Russell had made similar claims before, Jessica did not believe he was serious. The next day when Jessica went to Jacob's day care to pick him up, she was told that he had never come to day care that day. The day care contacted the authorities and asked that they check on the welfare of Jacob and Russell.

When police showed up at Russell's home, nobody would answer the doors and the doors were locked. When deputies forced their way into the home, they found the bodies of Jacob and Russell. Both had been shot. Russell had shot Jacob and then killed himself with the same gun. 
Sources:
Mother Jones

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vincent Bizier

Vincent Bizier
December 31, 2005 - March 13, 2009

Vincent was born on December 31, 2005. He passed away on March 13, 2009 in a fire that took place in the family's garage. His mother, Autumn Bizier was sleeping inside the house at the time. Autumn had previously been reported for using drugs and failing to supervise Vincent. It is believed that Vincent was playing with lighters, which ultimately started the fire. He died due to inhaling soot and smoke. His body was found with his teddy bear and his dog, Missy.

Vincent's grandmother, Cindy, had previously contacted DCF and asked that they take Vincent into their custody. This never happened. I am unable to find anymore information about Vincent. 

Sources:
Miami Herald

Bryce Barros

Bryce Mateo Barros
July 26, 2007 - July 3, 2009

Bryce was born on July 26, 2007 to Alberto and Jocelyn Barros. Alberto and Jocelyn had a troubled marriage. A judge who handled cases about their marriage did her best to help them solve their issues, but she was more concerned about the welfare of Bryce. She contacted the child abuse hotline and suggested that Bryce might not be being cared for as he should be.

Child welfare workers didn't investigate that the claims until July 3, 2009. By then, Bryce was dead. It appeared that the cause of Bryce's death was blunt force trauma. At this time, I am unable to find anymore information about Bryce. If you know anything about Bryce you would like me to add, please inform me in the comments and I will do so. Thank you.


Sources:
Tributes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Zander Burkett Mills

Zander Allen Burkett Mills
December 7, 2007 - July 19, 2009

Zander was born on December 7, 2007 to Jennifer Burkett and Terry Mills. He had a brother named Zeth and a sister named Karly. Before Zander's birth, DCF had received ten reports regarding the Burkett family. Jennifer had also had two other children removed from her custody. When she gave birth to Zander, she tested positive for cocaine. Even so, ten days later the investigation about this was closed when the agency concluded that there was no evidence of substance abuse.

When Jennifer went to prison for violating a community control order, Zander was put into the custody of his father, Terry. When Zander was nineteen months old, Terry took him to a friend's home. The friend had a kiddie pool in their backyard. Terry and the two other adults at the home left Zander alone while he played in the kiddie pool that day to watch a police stop that was happening down the streets. 

Terry says that he lost track of time while he was watching the police stop and that he also lost track of the young children around him. Terry was intoxicated at the time as well. Zander was later found face-down in the kiddie pool that he and the other children had gotten into while the adults were not supervising them. By the time Zander was discovered and pulled from the water, he was already cold and blue. I am unable to find information about any charges or lack of charges relating to this case.

Sources:
Miami Herald

Roosevelt Bradley

Roosevelt Royal Bradley III
December 11, 2008 - August 7, 2009

Roosevelt was born on December 11, 2008. His father was Roosevelt Bradley II. His mother was Elizabeth Bradley. He had a twin sister. Elizabeth did not live with Roosevelt II. At the time of Roosevelt's death, she was living in a domestic violence shelter. When Roosevelt was eight months old, Elizabeth had dropped him and his sister off at their father's home for a visit. That same day, Roosevelt was rushed to the hospital because he wasn't breathing. He was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

Roosevelt's death was ruled as a homicide. His skull was severely damaged. He had retinal bleeding and medical professionals did not believe that his injuries were an accident. They ruled out the possibility of the injuries being caused by a fall or shaken baby syndrome. The injuries had occurred very recently to the time Roosevelt passed away. Medical professionals found it odd when Roosevelt II didn't seem to have much of a reaction when he was told that his son was dead.

Roosevelt II told more than one story about what had happened to his son. One story included Roosevelt's sister hitting him with an object. Roosevelt's sister was only eight months old and didn't even have enough strength to pull herself up yet, so this was impossible. Roosevelt was found guilty of child abuse and he was sentenced to five years. He was also found guilty of second degree murder. For that charge, he was sentenced to life.

Sources:
Find a Grave

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ryan Blake-Mulkins

Ryan Kenny Blake-Mulkins
September 12, 2007 - October 20, 2009

Ryan was born on September 12, 2007 to Shani Blake and Jason Mulkins. Before Ryan's death there had been four separate reports to child services. The reports all told a story of Shani using drugs and not being able to properly care for Ryan. In the beginning of 2008 it was reported that Shani had made thirty trips to hospitals and medical providers in six weeks in an attempt to obtain prescription pain medication.

The agency that received reports about Ryan knew this had happened and they were sure that Ryan was "at risk," but did not have enough reason to remove him from Shani's care. In March of 2008, there was a report that Shani was over-medicated and could not care for Ryan. An investigation was opened regarding this report but it was closed two months later after the agency could not find evidence of the claim being true. DCF attempted to have a substance abuse evaluation and daycare services offered for the family, but Shani and Ryan relocated so this never happened.

On the same day the report of Shani being over-medicated was closed, another report was opened because it was reported that Shani abused methadone and pills. The report said that when Shani used drugs she was happy but when she was off of drugs she was mean and yelled at Ryan. The reporter said that they had heard Shani tell Ryan that she hoped he fell down and "busted his head open." The reported said this caused Ryan to hysterically cry.

This report led to an investigation that concluded that Shani was abusing narcotics. In July, Shani underwent drug counseling. Shani, Jason, other children in the home, and Ryan began receiving help from the Youth and Family Alternatives services. In September there was another report stating that Ryan and the other children in the home were sometimes unable to wake up the adults in the house, and that the children were not given food until after lunch time until Jason woke up or Shani came home from drug treatments. During this investigation the agency found "some" indications of substance abuse. This claim was closed in October of 2008.

The next year, Ryan was pronounced dead after falling into a swimming pool when he was not being supervised by the adults in the home. His mother was sleeping at the time. Ryan could not swim. I am unable to find any information about charges filed against Ryan's caregivers, or the lack of charges, at this time.


Sources:
Miami Herald

Friday, July 14, 2017

Milla Barbieri

Milla Angeline Barbieri
October 17, 2007 - March 30, 2010
Milla was born on October 17, 2007. Milla lived with her one year old brother in the home of her father, Michael Barbieri, and her father's girlfriend, Ashley Lightner. They had lived there for only two months. Milla's mother had tested positive for cocaine at the time of Milla's birth and now did not care for her children because she claimed it was stressful for her.

 Milla's maternal grandmother, Margaret, had been concerned when the children moved in because there was a pool on the property. She feared that the children would get in it and drown when adults were not watching. Milla's father assured her that he would watch the children to be sure that that didn't happen. Margaret feared that the children wouldn't be supervised well because their father and Ashley stayed up late at night and slept into the day. It was also believed that they were using drugs.

On the day Milla died, she had fallen into that very pool her grandmother was afraid of. She became tangled in the hose of the underwater vacuum. Nobody had been watching Milla when she fell in. Paramedics worked to save Milla, although she showed no signs of life when they arrived. Michael reported that he had no memory of where Milla was during the hour leading up to discovering that she had fallen into the pool.

After Milla's death, Michael tested positive for oxycodone, marijuana, and cocaine. When Margaret and her husband went to pick up Milla's brother after Milla passed away, they discovered that he was dirty. He had bruises on his body and his diaper was full. I am unable to find any information about charges that may/may not have been made in relation to Milla's care and death.


Sources:
Find a Grave

Willie Brown

Willie Nehemiah Brown
June 11, 2008 - August 3, 2010

Willie was born on June 11, 2008. His father was Lee DeJesus and his mother was Zipporah Brown. Willie was just two years old when he had to be airlifted to the hospital with severe head trauma. Lee initially said that he had opened a door quickly and the door had hit Willie's head. Then he blamed Willie's injuries on a babysitter. 

Finally, Lee admitted that he had wanted to teach Willie, who was only two years old, how to box. He said he put on his boxing gloves and struck Willie around fifteen times in his head, face, and torso. He said that at one point, he struck Willie so hard he hit the wall and began to have a seizure. This also caused bleeding in Willie's brain. By the time Lee stopped hitting Willie, Willie was having trouble breathing.

Lee waited around half an hour before deciding to seek medical help for Willie. By then, it was too late for Willie to be saved. His mother, Zipporah, told authorities that Lee had given Willie "a whoopin'" often and that when that happened, she left the room because she did not like to hear Willie cry. She was pregnant with her second child at the time of Willie's death. Willie's family had been the subject of hotline calls twice before:  Once when the electricity was turned off due to failure to pay and they were evicted and another time when Zipporah got into a fight with Lee's family.

For Willie's death, Lee was arrested and jailed. Before a proper trial could be carried out, Lee committed suicide in jail.

Sources:
Miami Herald

Ronnie Bias

Ronnie Ellet Bias
--- - January 16, 2011
Ronnie passed away when he was ten years old. His parents were Everett and Bobbie Jo. He had two brothers named Julian and Michael and two sisters named Lynzee and Kiauna. Ronnie was known for being sweet and loving animals. He liked soccer and adored his baby sister, Kiauna. Ronnie was raised by his grandmother until he was nine, when he moved into the home of his father and step-mother. Ronnie passed away when a car he was a passenger in overturned several times and hit a tree with its roof. A twenty-six year old woman, Jennifer Grant, also passed away as a result of the crash.

Ronnie had been in a vehicle driven by his brother, who was fourteen at the time. He lost control of the vehicle and hit the dirt embankment and hit a small tree which caused the car to overturn into the larger tree. Ronnie's brother and the six year old son of Jennifer, the woman who passed away in the crash, were taken to the hospital. None of the people in the car had been wearing their seat belts. Ronnie's father was the one who discovered the crash and Ronnie passed away in his arms. It is unknown why Ronnie's fourteen year old brother was allowed to drive the vehicle.



Sources:
Legacy

Aiden Binkley

Aiden Binkley
October, 2000 -  December 30, 2010
Aiden was born in October of 2000 to Mike and Lisa. In July of 2008, Aiden was diagnosed with Rhabdomayosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The cancer originated in Aiden's prostate and had spread to his lung. Aiden completed eighteen rounds of chemotherapy and twenty-eight rounds of radiation to his pelvis. In addition, he had ten more rounds of radiation to his lungs. In February of 2010, Aiden relapsed. It had only been two months after finishing his treatments.

Five days before Aiden passed away, it was Christmas. Aiden said that he had had the best Christmas ever. The next day, Aiden struggled to stay asleep. He began talking nonstop and what he was saying didn't quite make sense. It was because he was lacking oxygen. Ativan was added to his pain medications and that resulted in him calming down a bit and allowed him to rest.

By December 30, 2010, Aiden's breathing was shallow and slow, although his heartbeat was strong. His pain medications were administered around the clock to be sure that he was as comfortable as possible. Later in the day, Aiden passed away surrounded by love and care.


Sources:
Find a Grave

Jack Bartosz

Jack Thomas Bartosz
October 4, 2001 - August 27, 2012
Jack was born on October 4, 2001 to Sarah and John Bartosz. He had a twin sister named Annie. He maintained straight A's in school and was adored by his teachers and classmates. He was awarded The Swamp Fox in Cub Scouts and enjoyed playing golf. He also liked tennis, swimming, Legos, and fishing. He was a Green Bay Packers fan and he got the chance to befriend the quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. 

In September of 2005, Jack was diagnosed with Stage IV high risk neuroblastoma. A tumor had been found in his adrenal gland. It had metastasized in his bones and bone marrow. Jack was treated with high dose chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy. By the summer of 2006, Jack was living close to a "normal" life again, and he continued to live that life until he relapsed in May of 2007.

After relapsing, Jack went through chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy again. He became stable again until he relapsed a second time in 2008. He continued treatments to maintain his health again before he relapsed yet again in 2009. This cycle continued for the following two years, 2010 and 2011, as well. Jack and his family were forced to travel to try and find new treatment plans that would help Jack.

Jack heroically fought against cancer for over six years before he passed away on August 27, 2012 after he began to run out of treatment options. 

Sources:
Find a Grave

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ty Barberine

Ty Carl Barberine
February 8, 2003 - April 12, 2012
Ty was born on February 8, 2003 to Heather and Scott. Ty was a third grade student who enjoyed playing soccer and hockey. He was a big fan of the Green Bay Packers. Ty was very loved by his family and had many friends. He was known for being kind and having a bright smile that would make everyone around him smile too. Ty felt sick for about a week, so his parents brought him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with strep throat and was given antibiotics to treat it. 

Ty was also showing other symptoms. He got tired very easily when he would play soccer and he seemed more sleepy than he usually was in general. His parents took him to his pediatrician. The examination went well and Ty appeared to be healthy. His parents thought checking his blood to see his iron level, because he was so tired, would be beneficial. After leaving the doctor's office, Ty went to Subway for dinner and then headed home. 

Almost as soon as Ty got home, his family received a phone call from the doctor. The doctor said that his blood tests had come back with abnormal results. The doctor believed Ty had leukemia. An appointment was made for Ty to go to the children's hospital the next morning. On April 28, 2011, Ty's family was told that Ty had Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. This cancer is very rare and has a high risk of mutation. Ty was treated with chemotherapy, however after staying in the hospital for forty-five days, his family was told that the first round of chemotherapy had not been successful. Ty was told to go home for a week so he and his family could have a break from the rough and tiring treatments.

Another treatment plan was created. This treatment was successful and Ty went to another hospital for a bone marrow transplant. Ty's parents were tested to see if they were a match, but they were not. When the registry was checked, two matches were found for Ty from umbilical cord blood. The transplants were rough on Ty. He had to be on high doses of steroids and antibiotics for months. He even had a difficult time walking. He worked with physical therapy to regain his strength and balance.

By Ty's ninth birthday, things were looking up with the exception of Ty's lack of appetite. He often complained of his stomach hurting. He had an endoscopy that showed his stomach was normal. Doctors guessed that his stomach needed time to adjust after coming off of steroids. Near the end of February 2012, Ty began having severe diarrhea. In March of 2012, he had to go to the hospital for dehydration. His kidneys began to shut down and fluid began to build up in his body.

Months later, on April 12, 2012, Ty passed away. He had ultimately beaten cancer, but the many treatments he went through to remove the cancer from his body were rough and made him very sick, ultimately causing his death. A few days before Ty passed away, his parents asked him if he was scared and he had said that he wasn't. His parents established The Ty Barberine Foundation to honor Ty's wish of providing children staying in hospitals with toys. The foundation also helps fund research for leukemia. 


Sources:
Find a Grave

Bella Amoroso Bond

Bella Nevaeh Amoroso Bond
August 6, 2012 - June 25, 2015
Bella was born on August 6, 2012 to Rachelle Bond and Joe Amoroso. She lived with Rachelle and Rachelle's boyfriend, Michael McCarthy. Bella's body was discovered in a plastic garbage bag along the shore of Deer Island in Boston, MA by a woman walking her dog on June 25, 2015. Bella was wearing polka dot leggings and had a zebra print blanket with her inside of the bag. There was no way to identify Bella and no missing children that matched her description had been reported recently. For many days, Bella was called "Baby Doe."

Investigators concluded that Bella had passed away within days of her body being discovered. Bella's body had already experienced decomposition and bloating, so she could not be identified visually. Due to exposure to water, Bella's body also was unable to provide fingerprints. A digitally reconstructed image of Bella was made and distributed in hopes of identifying her.
Composite of Bella
 All investigators knew was Bella's approximate age, her gender, her ears were pierced, her hair was wavy and brown, and that she was either Caucasian or Hispanic. There were no signs of abuse on her body and it appeared that she had been well-cared for.

Many tips came in suggesting that Bella might be a number of other people who had been reported missing and never found in the past. Some people that were ruled out were Shoshana Black, Paula Remerez-Figuroa, Ofir Ben-Haim, Cassidy Gibbs, Aaliyah Lunsford, Katherine Phillips, and Ayla Reynolds. When no children in the missing persons database matched Bella's profile, it was suspected that Bella had never been reported missing. 

Nearly three months after her body was discovered, on September 18, 2015, Bella's body was identified. The sister of one of Bella's neighbors reported the possible link between "Baby Doe" and Bella. The neighbor had noticed that she hadn't seen Bella in a while and when she asked Bella's mother, Rachelle, and Rachelle's boyfriend, Michael, about it, they reported that Bella had been taken away by Child Services. The neighbor told his sister that he thought Baby Doe might be Bella, so his sister contacted authorities. Later another neighbor said she had become concerned when she hadn't seen Bella in a while and noticed that many of Bella's belongings had disappeared from Rachelle and Michael's home.

Bella's biological father, Joe Amoroso, had never met Bella, but he had spoken with her on the phone. He said he learned of Bella's death when Rachelle told him about a week before Bella was identified. He said that he didn't think Rachelle would ever hurt Bella, although Bella's paternal grandmother has stated that she thinks Rachelle was involved in Bella's death.

Rachelle was known for abusing drugs. She had two other children removed from her custody before Bella's death. She had been arrested in the past for multiple crimes. Police had received complaints in the past that Bella was being neglected. Bella's maternal aunt reported that she had never suspected Baby Doe was Bella. Bella's maternal grandmother reported that she was unaware Bella even existed. Bella's death was ruled as a homicide and Michael McCarthy was charged with killing her. Rachelle was charged with accessory to the crime, as it was believed she helped dispose of Bella's body and get rid of evidence of the crime. She was charged further when it was discovered she accepted welfare after Bella's death and continued benefiting from housing offered.

Rachelle stated that Michael had punched Bella in her stomach multiple times because he claimed she was a demon. It is also suspected that Michael may have abused Bella when she had trouble going to sleep. Rachelle stated that Michael threatened to murder her if she told anybody what he had done to Bella, and that Michael had initially put Bella's body in the refrigerator after she passed away before disposing of it in the water. A cadaver dog that visited the home did hit on the refrigerator.

Michael stated that Rachelle was responsible for killing Bella. He said that Rachelle emotionally and physically abused Bella. Michael was initially charged with first degree murder, but it was lessened to second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. He was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Rachelle has yet to go on trial. 



Sources:
Find a Grave

Brooklyn Brister

Brooklyn Scout Brister
December 13, 2009 - July 3, 2015
Brooklyn was born on December 13, 2009 to Clarissa Hector and Nicholas Brister. She had five siblings named Mercedes, Jorja, Nicholas, Isabella, and Pyper. Deputies had responded to a report of a little girl, Brooklyn, drowning in the river behind her home on July 3, 2015. Brooklyn was five years old. Initially, Brooklyn's mother reported that she had turned her back for a moment when Brooklyn fell out of some trees she was playing in and into the river. Clarissa said she pulled Brooklyn from the water and forced the water out of her mouth. She then said she took her inside and put her in a warm bath because she was cold.

Clarissa had called 911 and performed CPR on Clarissa. By the time police arrived Brooklyn had already been rushed to the hospital by paramedics, although she was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Brooklyn's siblings that lived with her were interviewed by police after Brooklyn's death. After being interviewed, they were put into foster care. The children first told police that Brooklyn had drowned in the river, as their mother had said. Eventually, two of the children admitted that they were hit with a belt by a man named Russell Flowers. Russell lived with them. They said that Russell had put them in warm baths after hitting them so their bruises wouldn't be as noticeable. A six year old said that Brooklyn had been hit with the belt the day she died and then told to get into the hot bath. The children said they lied initially because they did not want to get taken away.

Later, Brooklyn's mother, Clarissa, admitted that she had lied about Brooklyn drowning because Russell owned the property and he had threatened to kill her if she told the truth. She said that she witnessed Russell hitting Brooklyn with the belt and that she had tried to stop him by grabbing the belt. She said that Russell struck her in the eye and pushed her down. She then said Russell had Brooklyn lay with her stomach in hot water as he held a gun to Clarissa's head. She said that Brooklyn's face was under the water for some time before Russell removed her from the bathtub.

Clarissa reported that after Brooklyn was out of the bathtub, Russell performed CPR on her and told Clarissa to call 911 and lie about what had happened. She reported that he told her he would kill her and the other children if she did not lie. When Brooklyn was taken to the hospital, her brain was swollen and she had belt marks on her legs. There were no signs of water in her lungs and her official cause of death was heat exposure.

Police reports from the past show that Russell had physically abused Clarissa before. Clarissa said she was extremely fearful of Russell. She said she believed he would really kill her or her children. Russell was arrested in connection with Brooklyn's death and abuse. Clarissa was also charged, though with second degree murder. Both Russell and Clarissa plead not guilty to their charges. At this time, I am unable to find information about the trials of Russell or Clarissa. 



Sources:
Find a Grave

Brandon Brauns

Brandon McConnell Brauns
March 14, 1999 - March 20, 2010
Brandon was born on March 14, 1999 to Kris and Jeff Brauns. He had a dog named Jett that was one of his best friends. He also was proud of his Lego collection and his collection of planes and other things relating to aviation, He was a big fan of the WSU Cougars. Brandon spent over half of his life fighting a brain tumor that he was diagnosed with when he was four years old. He was diagnosed after his parents noticed he had frequent headaches and vomited in the mornings.

Although Brandon had to spend a lot of time being treated in the hospital, his parents tried to be sure that he could live an average life like any other child as much as possible. He attended school when he could and he had many friends. He also explored many different hobbies. He loved sports, his favorite being soccer, and he wanted to become a pilot one day.

Brandon went through multiple surgeries, many rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation. He stayed optimistic, though as he grew older, he began to understand his condition more. His cancer continued returning no matter how hard he fought. Brandon received many gifts while fighting cancer and, even when he was a younger child, realized that not every child got the amount of gifts he did. He wanted to give away his gifts to make other children happy.

Brandon's mother began fundraising to help other children who were diagnosed with cancer and their families. Brandon helped her with this too. During Brandon's last year of his life, he lost control of many of his bodily functions. He could no longer walk and his cancer was progressing quickly and aggressively. Even so, he tried to help others. Just three months before he passed away, he helped organize a toy drive for children who would be in the hospital over the Christmas holiday. When Brandon was asked what he would like for Christmas, he said that he wanted his tumor to go away "for good."

Unfortunately, just days after Brandon's eleventh birthday, his fight with cancer ended. He passed away surrounded by his parents, other family members, and his loving dog, Jett. Inspired by Brandon's kindness, Brandon's family continues to help children with cancer and their families through Brandon's Goal Foundation.



Sources:
Find a Grave

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Benjamin Bowen

Benjamin David Bowen
November 14, 2002 - February 25, 2005
Benjamin, called "Ben" by those who knew him, and sometimes, "Big Ben," was born on November 14, 2002 to Tom and Jennifer Bowen. He had an older brother named Eli. After his death, he gained two little brothers and two little sisters. When he was sixteen months old, doctors discovered a golf ball sized tumor in the middle of his brain. The tumor was aggressive and rare. Specifically, the tumor was an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, often referred to as AT/RT. Benjamin had emergency brain surgery in a children's hospital.

Benjamin initially went through four brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. It was during these scary treatments that Benjamin was given the nickname "Big Ben" because of his bravery and his big smile. In November of 2004, the tumor returned and there was nothing else doctors could do to help Benjamin.

Benjamin got to go on a two-week trip to Disney World, where he celebrated his second birthday, with the help of Federal Express and the family of a victim of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, whom Benjamin's father had helped in the recovery of. Near the end of Benjamin's fight with cancer, his pain was difficult to control. Many parts of his body were swollen and he could not lift his head up on his own. He had difficulty speaking. Even morphine did not do much to help his pain. One of Benjamin's doctors had referred to Benjamin's uncontrolled pain level as "the worst case scenario."

When Benjamin passed away, he was with both of his loving parents. Benjamin's parents created a legacy for him that helps other children affected by cancer. Benjamin and his story have helped many children and their families.

Sources:
Ben's Story
Wikipedia

Ja'Quez Baker

Ja'Quez Baker
--- - August, 2012

Ja'Quez passed away in 2012. He had previously been removed from the custody of his parents when he had a fracture that his parents were unable to explain. His parents had also failed to get him medical treatment for injuries. In 2011, he was reunified. In August of 2012, Ja'Quez was taken to the hospital because he was not breathing. Medical staff worked for forty minutes to revive him but were unsuccessful. He passed away and his death was ruled as a homicide. I am unable to find any more information about Ja'Quez or his death. If you know anything about Ja'Quez that you would like me to add to this post, feel free to tell me in the comments.

Sources:
WFTV9

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Christian Byrd

Christian Lavon Byrd
August 2, 2010 - June 24, 2013
Christian was born on August 2, 2010 to Christa Lemonakis, He was known for being a happy little boy who made everybody around him happy too. Christian attended a day care run by and run in the home of Melissa Smith. The day care was registered with the state. In June of 2013, Melissa left Christian and three other children unsupervised in a kiddie pool in her yard while she went inside to use the bathroom. Christian drowned.

Melissa was charged with aggravated manslaughter and three counts of child neglect after Christian's death. On that day, she had been watching seven children under five years of age. Three children were inside the home. Christian, a three year old, and two four year olds had been in the pool when she went inside. When she went back outside, another child told her, "Christian's dead." Melissa ran to the pool and scooped Christian out. She ran to a neighbor's home for help, leaving three children inside the home and three children inside the pool while she did this. 

After an autopsy confirmed that Christian passed way due to drowning, Melissa was sentenced to eight months in jail and five years of probation for child neglect and negligence.



Sources:
Legacy