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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August 20th:
Alayna Ertl
died on August 20th, 2016

Five year old, Alayna's overnight disappearance from her home sparked an Amber Alert in August 2016. An adult family friend was later convicted of her kidnapping, sexual assault and murder. In her funeral home obituary she is remembered as "always having a smile and kind words to animal lover, princess, singer, great friend and "our peanut," the obituary continued. She enjoyed learning from her brother and "always gave the best hugs."

Posted by Jane on January 27th, 2019
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Lakesha Victor
died on August 20th, 2006

A special education teacher saw signs that something was wrong with 10-year-old Lakesha Victor. She was skinny, and sometimes the girl's diaper stayed dry all day, suggesting she was underfed. Her wheelchair was sometimes caked in ice, as if it had been left outside in the harsh northern Minnesota winter. The teacher's lingering questions were answered three years later, when authorities charged Ludusky Sue Hotchkiss, 29, with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2006 death of her disabled daughter. Lakesha weighed just 31 pounds when she died, and prosecutors allege her mother let her die by not feeding her enough for as long as four months.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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Naziat Khan
died on August 20th, 2001

Mrs Naziat Khan from UK had three daugthers, a son, and a husband of 16 years whom she didn't love because it was an arranged marriage. He didn't contribute to the household financially, so she filed for divorce. The husband decided that his honour was slighted, sent their son away for a few days, and strangled Mrs Khan in front of their three daughters, threatening to do the same to them if they speak up about what they saw. Then he dropped them off with a friend and fled the country. When their son returned home from his trip, he found his mother's body.

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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August 21st:
Huranieh Altantawi
died on August 21st, 2017

Huranieh, a 35yo personal fitness trainer, was in the middle of a divorce with her husband, and lived in the home alone with her 16-year-old son and two daughters, ages 14 and 12. On August 21st she died from injuries suffered in a fall from a second-floor window. Initially, detectives thought that Huranieh fell accidentally. After reviewing evidence, authorities felt that the teen boy deliberately pushed his mother to her death. Huranieh’s divorce attorney, said her client was estranged from her husband and in the middle of a divorce at the time of her death. She believes the teen sympathized with his father and thought his mother was becoming too Americanized and leaving behind Muslim tradition. “I’m just shocked,” neighbor Toni Jones said. “I’m totally speechless. I can’t imagine. “Can you imagine what the rest of the family is going through? I cannot. It would be devastating.”

Posted by Jane on July 1st, 2018
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Jayden-Lee Green
died on August 21st, 2011

23-month-old Jayden-Lee from UK died of methadone overdose. His parents were addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and wouldn't cooperate with drug agencies, midwives, housing officials, health visitors, and social workers. They regularly missed appointments and weren't home when visits were made. There were bags of rubbish lying around their one-bedroom ground-floor rented flat, as well as drug paraphernalia kept in cupboards and crack pipes under the sink. A rolled-up cigarette was found in a child's cot. "What was lacking was the authoritative challenge to this lack of co-operation," the report on Jayden-Lee's death stated. "There was a lack of enforcement of consequences. There was a lack of challenge by practitioners across the range of agencies. (...) The only way that [Jayden-Lee's] death would definitely have been prevented was if he had been placed away from his parents. The opportunity to do this was lost due to the failure to follow through on the initiation of care proceedings."

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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August 22nd:
Zahree Thomas
died on August 22nd, 2012

Mom of 2yo Zahree from New Jersey, USA, struggled with mental health issues and drug addiction. When he was 10 months old, she left him in a locked car and told CPS she was smoking "wet" (combination of street drugs) and didn't remember where she left her baby. She lost custody but gained it back. Neighbors said she was nice but kept to herself, though they saw her walking around, cursing to herself, and sitting on her front steps topless. On August 22nd she called 911 and said that she has hurt her son. Her speech was incoherent, but the police went to check on her and Zahree. Zahree was decapitated, and his mom slashed her throat right after placing the 911 call.

Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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August 23rd:
Ho Yan Hui
died on August 23rd, 2013

5yo Ho Yan Hui from Malaysia was beat to death by her mother. They lived in a poor neighborhood, and it's culturally acceptable there to hit children for misbehaving, even with a cane. However, Ho Yan Hui had over 100 wounds, including one on her head. She didn't scream or fight while getting beat by her mother, but developed fever, fell into coma, and died 11 days later. The mother was found guilty of manslaughter and child abuse; the judge said, "That the child is naughty and difficult to control coupled with the stresses of life cannot be an excuse to be beaten to death as one needs to find alternatives to handle such a matter. Injuries sustained by the victim showed she died a slow and painful death."

Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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August 24th:
Carter Lizar
died on August 24th, 2015

Carter's mom was a meth addict, and all of her previous 5 children were taken away from her by child protective services. On August 22nd she left Carter with a couple she used to do drugs with, and went to Kansas City to get meth. She returned two days later, and all three of them got high, with Carter still in the house. She went to a convenience store, and when she returned, Carter was dying from having been violently shaken by one of her acquaintances. It was his first birthday.

Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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Loretta Hooker
died on August 24th, 2011

89yo Mrs Hooker died of cardiovascular disease and hyperthermia at a California assisted-care facility designed for residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. A week prior to that, her son came for his twice-a-week visit with her and found her outside, sitting on a concrete patio, "alone and under the hot summer sun with no shade or supervision," according to his elder abuse and wrongful death lawsuit. "She was in obvious discomfort, appeared weak and was sweating profusely." Mrs Hooker was unable to open patio doors by herself even if they were unlocked. He brought her inside and complained to supervisors, but the next week found her alone on the patio again. "This time, however, she was unresponsive, drenched with perspiration and in obvious respiratory distress," the suit said. Paramedics took Mrs Hooker to a hospital emergency room, where doctors determined she was in cardiac arrest. They tried to cool her body but she was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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August 25th:
Terrance Cottrell Jr
died on August 25th, 2003

Terrance Cottrell an 8-year-old autistic boy who died at a prayer service where church members tried to heal him of "spirits" was suffocated, the medical examiner's office said Monday. Terrance went to a prayer service Friday with his mother, who prayed over him with a pastor and other church members. By the time the two-hour service was over, Terrance was dead. A neighbor described Terrance's mother as a zealous church convert who once said the evil spirit had spoken through her son at the church. "She said he said, 'Kill me, take me, kill me,'" neighbor Denise Allison said. "I was like, are you serious? I couldn't really believe that." Ray Hemphill a pastor at the storefront church and the brother of head Pastor David Hemphill -- was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of child abuse and is awaiting formal charges. Asked whether church members could have confused Terrance's autism with evil spirits, David Hemphill said "no it wasn't confused,"..."Terrance "had spirits in him," and church members simply asked God to "deliver him."

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 26th:
Jody Meyers
died on August 26th, 2015

The heartbroken family of alleged murder victim Jody Meyers have paid tribute to the young mother, after her body was found buried under a garden shed and her boyfriend charged with her death. The 20-year-old South Australian was last seen at 7.30pm on August 26 and a desperate and tireless search continued for four weeks until her remains were finally found. In the wake of the shocking discovery, Ms Meyers' sister Tania Parsons described her despair and anguish after Ms Meyers' body was found under a cement slab in the backyard belonging to the parents of her accused killer. 'My mum lost a daughter, and I lost a sister, my kids lost their aunty and (your child) lost (their) mummy. We will forever miss her,' Ms Parsons wrote in a Facebook post on Friday night, according to The Advertiser. Police have alleged the young woman's death was a consequence of domestic violence.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 27th:
Michael Tyree
died on August 27th, 2015

31yo Michael struggled with bipolar disorder since childhood. He wrote poetry, his ex girlfriend said, "and loved with his whole heart. He really had a kind heart. He had the best smile. He was always seeking balance." One day Michael was standing on the steps of Trinity Cathedral in San Jose, California, throwing small pieces of tinfoil onto the steps. A police officer stopped him for littering and found a small amount of crystal meth wrapped in foil in his pocket. Michael could have had the charge stricken from his record if he complied with the court order to get treatment, but he didn't, so the judge ordered to hold him in jail until a bed becomes available in a treatment facility. Michael was beaten to death by the guards.

"It's a terrible way for somebody to die," said Michael's old girlfriend's sister, who works with children who have behavioral issues. "A lot of times people who should be in mental health facilities end up in jail, and I think it's sad. They don't get the treatment they need. They're not criminals. They're sick, and they need help." His sister said, "He touched people's lives. He mattered. <...> We looked at his corpse yesterday. I looked at my brother and I thought that is a corpse. He is gone, but he was naked. He was covered in feces and vomit and that's public now. You know, those are the last images of my brother and the last thing this man did for him was kick his head."

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 28th:
Carolyn Hyatt
died on August 28th, 2015

Carolyn Hyatt died of her injuries 3 weeks after being severely beaten and set on fire by her boyfriend David Dunstan. Carolyn who had only been in a relationship with Dunstan for a month. Pathologists told the court the victim had suffered 20 per cent burns to her back, arm, neck and face, while she also had two lacerations to her head. Forensics suggested she had been set on fire in the living room and she had rushed to the bathroom to put out the flames. Speaking after the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Meadows from Derbyshire Police, said: ‘This was an abhorrent crime. Not only did Dunstan brutally attack Carolyn but he abused the trust she had placed in him as a very new partner. He also abused the trust of his own unsuspecting mother by committing the attack in her home while she was away on holiday, ‘Carolyn was a much-loved sister and her devastated family will live with the consequences of her loss for the rest of their lives...No one should ever suffer the way Carolyn did that night or during the time she spent in hospital.’

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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Gabriel Kovari
died on August 28th, 2014

22yo Gabriel was "a very inquisitive and special child, gifted in arts," according to his mom. "He was full of love and care for others," his friends said. Gabriel moved from Slovakia to UK because he felt people were "conservative and intolerant", and was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Gabriel, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Yun-Mi Hoy
died on August 28th, 2013

47yo Yun-Mi Hoy from Colorado, USA, had an 18yo daughter from previous marriage and a new husband. Mother and daughter didn't get along, and one day the girl spat in her mother's face and sent her an email that said, "You will pay." Mrs Hoy called the police, who explained to the teen that her mom can kick her out of the house for her behavior, considering that she's 18yo and mom doesn't have to provide for her anymore. Teen's biological father also spoke to her, "we sat down in the backyard looking at the trees and the animals and I started to talk to her about the respect that people should have for their parents," he said. "And I was trying to let her know that she should be obedient to her parents, not rebellious, that she should try to listen more and everything was going fine. In the conversation, I thought that I made progress. But obviously it didn't do nothing, because hours later, this thing happened." Mrs Hoy returned home from work at a portrait studio she owned with her ex husband, and went to take a shower. Her husband heard a commotion in the bathroom and Mrs Hoy calling his name. His step daughter was in the bathroom, not letting him in, and he saw blood coming from under the door, so he went downstairs and called the police. Mrs Hoy was stabbed with a knife 151 times in her face and neck, and her throat was slashed.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 29th:
Ayesha Ali
died on August 29th, 2013

8yo Ayesha lived with her mom and dad in Ilford, UK, and they had a bad neighbor, Kikki Muddar. Ms Muddar took romantic interest in Ayesha's mom, gained her sympathy by faking cancer, and gradually manipulated her into divorcing her husband, moving in together with her, and abusing and finally killing her daughter. To do that, she created multiple Facebook accounts, including a "Jimmy" whom Ayesha's mom thought she was cyberdating, and a "Skyman" the spiritual adviser. All of these imaginary online people were sending endless messages (more than 40,000) to Ayesha's mom about how her 8yo daughter has "bad blood", is "evil", a "witch", needs to be disciplined to get the "evil spirits" out of her, and how "You have no right to ever love or like your evil daughter". Ayesha's dad tried to protect his family and moved them, but Ms Muddar tracked them down.

Det Insp Donna Convery said: "It took us months to unpick and investigate the web of lies that Kiki Muddar had constructed. In the six months before her death, Ayesha was subjected to horrific levels of mental abuse, which during the summer holidays escalated to become physical. She was an innocent child who was caught up in the most bizarre set of events, manipulated by two adults who were intent on causing her harm." Ayesha died of a blow to her head, and had various marks on her body from previous beatings. Here's a quote from her journal:

"Being thought bad, naughty and mean it's getting to be very upsetting. I don't like hurting other people's feelings! I don't know how I make myself do these things! I hate getting punishments so I'm gonna make sure I change."

Posted by Manya on February 13th, 2016
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Christine Marie and Amber Grace Lundy
died on August 29th, 2000

Christine Marie Lundy, aged 38, was a devoted mother who was involved in many community activities such as Girl Guides and was well known within her community. Amber Grace Lundy, her 7 year old daughter was described as an outgoing, energetic and bright only child. As they walked home together from Amber’s school on Tuesday 29th August 2000, neither they nor those that saw them had any idea of the horror that would meet them before the night was through. Both were found the next morning violently attacked and murdered. Christine’s husband was convicted of her and their daughter’s murder.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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