Memorial Wall : victims of child abuse

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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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November 30th:
Roderick RJ Arrington, Jr
died on November 30th, 2012

RJ was a 7yo boy from Las Vegas beaten to death by his parents, Dina and Markiece Palmer, because he didn't finish his homework and lied about reading the Bible. Investigators said that his mom "stood by and let her husband" shake and beat RJ to death. When admitted to the hospital, he had extensive bruising and abrasions all over his body, from previous beatings (some of which were inflicted by his mom as well), and brain swelling. RJ died the following afternoon.

Posted by Manya on December 4th, 2015
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Jeffrey Baldwin
died on November 30th, 2002

Jeffrey was a 5yo boy from Toronto, Canada who died of neglect. There's a bronze statue in Greenwood Park, Toronto depicting Jeffrey dressed as Superman, a superhero he loved. When he was 1yo, his parents lost custody due to allegations of abuse, and he and his older sister went to live with their grandparents.

According to later court testimony, Jeffrey and his sister were kept in a locked room at night with furnace vents shut, and when released were forced to eat with their hands from a mat on the floor. The boyfriend of Jeffrey's aunt who also lived in the house, declared that Jeffrey's grandmother did not love him or his sister, and that they were purely a "dollars and cents" matter, as his grandparents received social assistance for their care.

Jeffrey was covered in sores, bruises, and cuts, and died of septic shock. His weight at death was slightly less than his weight at his first birthday, almost five years earlier.

Posted by Manya on April 19th, 2012
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December 3rd:
Daniil Podchapko
died on December 3rd, 2016

1yo Daniil from Ukraine lived with his mom and 2yo sister Anna. Their parents divorced, mom was dating a new boyfriend, and just gave birth to a third child. On November 27th she took the baby to her boyfriend, and left Daniil and Anna home alone for nine days. They had no food except for some candy. Neighbors heard them crying and called the police, but the police had no authority to break the door to rescue the children. Their grandma came by with food, but also couldn't get into the apartment. The children tried to eat wallpaper, and tore off linoleum floor by the entrance door, trying to escape from the apartment. Daniil died on December 3rd. Anna stayed in the apartment with his dead body for three more days, spent some time in ICU, but survived and is now in foster care.

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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December 4th:
Macy Grace Ditty
died on December 4th, 2015

Macy Grace, was covered in bruises and medical staff determined the child had suffered life-threatening injuries consistent with child abuse. She was transferred to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where police said it was determined her injuries were inflicted within 24 hours of the child being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Macy Grace died from her injuries Dec. 4. Her mother Jeanie Ditty, and her boyfriend Zachary Keefer, were both charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury for the death of Ditty's daughter, Macy Grace.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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December 5th:
Geontae Glass
died on December 5th, 2006

Geontae Glass was beaten to death with a piece of lumber by his mother's boyfriend, Kevin Towles, after he came home with a bad school report card. Prosecutors say the boy's mother, Shalinda Glass did nothing to stop the beating. Police say after Geontae died, that Glass and Towles tried to cover up the murder by staging a kidnapping in Albertville. However, investigators later found Geontae's body in the back of a car in Towles' garage. Geontae's mother, Shalinda Glass, entered a guilty plea in the case in 2012. She's serving life in prison. Kevin Andre Towles, was convicted of capital murder and is appealing his death sentence

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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December 9th:
Jeanette Marie Maples
died on December 9th, 2009

Jeanette Maples died last month; her mother and stepfather have been charged with murder, and state child welfare officials have launched an internal inquiry into how they handled calls alerting them to Jeanette's suspected abuse. Jeanette, a quiet, dark-haired girl who sought refuge in books at her school's library, tried to hide her injuries during her middle school years, friends recalled. But many days when she got into her clothes for gym class, friends saw bruises on her abdomen and legs, which she said came from falling. One classmate, Amber Davis, wouldn't accept Jeanette's explanations about her injuries and pressed her for the truth. "She told me her mom was abusing her when we were in seventh grade," said Davis, 15, one of Jeanette's closest friends during her years at Cascade Middle School. After graduating from eighth grade in the spring of 2008, Jeanette was home-schooled by her mother. Friends and family say she was hidden away with almost no contact with the outside world while her siblings attended school and appeared healthy and happy.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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December 10th:
Aqsa (Axa) Parvez
died on December 10th, 2007

Axa was a 16yo girl from Canada who didn't want to wear hijab. She was a teenager, wanted to look like everybody else, and women in hijabs sometimes get looks, especially after the 911 attacks. Axa was from a Muslim family of Pakistani origin, and her dad wanted her to wear hijab while outside. According to friends, she sometimes would change her clothing once she got to school, and then change back before going home. There was tension in the family, and a week before her murder Axa moved in with another family in the neighborhood. Around 8AM on December 10th, her father called 911 and said he had just killed his daughter. Axa was still alive when the police arrived, but died shortly after in a hospital. It was later discovered that it was her brother who strangled her. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. Her father said, "My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked." Axa was buried in an unmarked grave, and her family refused a donation of a gravestone and a memorial.

Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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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 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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