Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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December 11th:
Danny Fernandez
died on December 11th, 2016

Initial reports told police 66-year-old Danny Fernandez fell from his wheel chair causing life-threatening head injuries. Family members later told police they thought Mathews was responsible for beating her step-father over money issues. Christina Mathews has been charged with three-counts of First-Degree Murder, after originally being picked up on Aggravated Battery counts.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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December 12th:
Poppi Worthington
died on December 12th, 2012

Poppi a "fit and active, robust little girl" suffocated after being sexually abused by her father, a coroner has ruled. Poppi Worthington died just over five years ago at her home after spending part of the night in bed with her father, Paul Worthington. David Roberts, the senior coroner for Cumbria, ruled the 13-month-old had been sexually assaulted by her father just before her death, after a postmortem found suspicious injuries in her anus. "Poppi was a fit and active, robust little girl ... There is no evidence to suggest or support a natural cause of death. There is evidence that she has been placed in an adult's bed alive and, sometime later, that she has been found there dead."


Posted by Jane on June 29th, 2018
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Nicholas Goodrich
died on December 12th, 2006

Delaware police detective John Radabaugh recounted his interview with Wilson shortly after the child’s death. Ray-tone Wilson told police that on Dec. 12, he was watching Nicholas while his mother Rachel Ewers was working. The baby began to cry while Wilson was playing a video game, Radabaugh said yesterday. Wilson “admitted that he got upset, angry and frustrated with Nicholas and described to us how he grabbed Nicholas by his throat and threw him in an effort to make him quiet.” Wilson then put the child in his crib, where he eventually died, Radabaugh said. Nicholas died in the apartment Ewers and Wilson shared in Delaware. By the time the couple took his body into the emergency room at Grady Memorial Hospital, it was too late, authorities say. An autopsy showed the boy died of head injuries inflicted by severe shaking and blunt-force trauma. A state review of Nicholas’ death determined that child-welfare employees mishandled previous reports of the boy’s abuse. At least five calls about his care were made to Children Services agencies in Delaware and Franklin counties, but neither agency opened an investigation.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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December 13th:
Yanelli Vasquez
died on December 13th, 2013

3yo Yanelli from Florida, USA, and her 2yo brother had to stay with their grandma because their mom was arrested on drug-related charges. Both kids were often beaten and yelled at. "I heard her screaming and the baby yell and scream," said one of the relatives who lived next door. "I went over there and I asked her why she was screaming at the kid. I saw the little girl and she looked at me like I was going to be her savior." Yanelli was beaten and drowned; her brother was turned over to foster care; grandma was charged with first degree murder. "They were better off where they were," Yanelli's aunt said. "At least they ain't dead."


Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 14th:
Maria Lauterbach
died on December 14th, 2007

The mother of US Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach told police that Maria "claimed she had been raped by a senior Marine at her command, and that the investigation had gone sour.". Maria was eight months pregnant and preparing to testify against him, when he killed her with a crowbar and burnt her remains.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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December 15th:
Laronda Becker
died on December 15th, 2008

Laronda was shot by her ex-boyfriend, two years after she and their two children were granted a permanent order of protection against him due to domestic violence. He was to never contact her or the kids again. On December 15th he broke into her apartment (Florida, USA). Laronda, her mom (who was living there with her), and the two children barricaded themselves in the bedroom and called 911. He broke the door, shot Laronda in the head in front of the kids, tried to shoot their grandma as well (the gun malfunctioned), and finally shot himself too, when the police arrived. He survived, plead guilty to murder.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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December 16th:
Jack Jetton
died on December 16th, 2015

38yo Mr Jetton, a former Midlander living in Tennessee, USA, worked for a roofing company and had four children, five siblings, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. At 4:44PM on December 16th he was at home with his wife and three children (aged 2, 3, and 12). The couple got into an argument, and Mr Jetton's wife shot him in the chest. She then called 911 and admitted to killing him.


Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 17th:
Melissa Stoddard
died on December 17th, 2012

11yo Melissa from North Carolina, USA, had to move from her mom's home to her dad's and stepmom's because her older brother molested her and the children had to be separated. Melissa struggled with the new environment (she had autism), but was making progress in school. At home, however, she kept getting in trouble with her stepmom, who punished her in odd ways. For example, she restrained Melissa by tying her legs to her head, or by tying her arms and legs with shoelaces to a board that had holes drilled in it, beating her, and taping her mouth with duct tape. That's how Melissa died, of suffocation while being restrained overnight and having her mouth duct taped. Click on her name above to read a great and very informative page about her life, including interviews with her teachers and neighbors. Melissa was a good kid, and she liked rules once she figured them out. She just needed structure and stability.


Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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December 18th:
Kenneth White
died on December 18th, 2014

5yo Kenneth from New York, USA, and his two sisters (aged 4 and 5) were removed from their parents due to neglect, and lived in a mobile home with their aunt, 20yo cousin, 18yo family friend, ten cats, and five dogs.

On December 18th Kenneth's cousin was helping him with schoolwork but became frustrated when he kept giving wrong answers, and choked him till he became unresponsive. She dragged Kenneth across the street, threw him over a guardrail into a drainage ditch, and covered him with snow (knowing that he was still alive). She then made up a lie that Kenneth was kidnapped.

"I love my son more than anything in this world but I also love my niece and I know the kind of girl she was," Kenneth's mom said. "People need to realize the kind of girl that (she) really was with my children - because she was good with them. This is a tragedy and it hurts that nobody understands truly the person she really was."


Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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Avery Glynn Bacon
died on December 18th, 2012

6-month-old Avery from Ohio, USA, lived with his mom and mom's roommate, who shared his apartment with her in exchange for sex. On December 16th Avery's mom dropped him to the floor and bashed his head against the wall twice, fracturing his skull. "I seen the baby leave her arms," her roommate said. "...It just tripped me out. I was like, wow, puzzled. I ran toward her but by the time I got to her, she'd already picked him up." After that Avery's mom left the house to engage in prostitution, while the roommate babysat Avery. When she returned home, he insisted they take the baby to the hospital. Avery died two days later.

There was a family who loved Avery, took care of him for much of his life, and was hoping to adopt him. "I can and will be the voice of Avery, and I know that deep down he has already forgiven you because Avery didn't know how to hate; he didn't know how to be mad at anyone!" they said. "All Avery knew how to do in his short, wonderful life was to love."


Posted by Manya on June 8th, 2017
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December 19th:
Carol and Wayne Parker
died on December 19th, 2013

Mr and Mrs Parker from Virginia, USA, were killed by their only son, 16yo honor-roll 10th grader with no criminal or psychiatric record. "I just remember getting mad," he told investigators. "It's all from my dad. All this stuff like my dad taking away my iPod and stuff." The teen left school early, pepper-sprayed his mom, stabbed her and beat her with a crowbar, then waited for his dad to return home and stabbed and beat him with a crowbar as well. "I feel that he killed his parents because he wanted to have his own lifestyle," his uncle said. "He wanted to be able to do what he wanted to do, and he felt like even though they were very good parents, he felt like that wasn't good enough for him."


Posted by Manya on December 13th, 2017
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December 20th:
Tyreke-Evans
died on December 20th, 2011

4yo Tyreke and his 3yo brother from Tennesee, USA, were beaten by their mom's boyfriend. The neighbors asked the mother about constant screaming coming from their apartment, and "she's say 'oh, he's just getting his *** whupped, you know. As in spanking." Child protective services were aware of the situation, but didn't have enough evidence to remove the children from this household. On December 20th the boys were taken to a hospital; the younger boy survived (though spent a long time in ICU). Tyreke died of multiple blunt force trauma: brain swelling, fractured ribs, lacerations to his liver and bowels, needle punctures, and multiple bruises.

The boys had a father and grandparents. "If you felt like you wanted [the boyfriend] to stay, you should have, out of concern for your kids, let them go," said one of the neighbors.


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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