Name: Stephanie Ramos.
Died: July 9, 2003.
Age at death: 8.
Cause of death: Unsolved.
Location: Queens, New York, USA.
Disability: Intellectual disability, blindness, cerebral palsy, diabetes.
Stephanie’s body was found in a garbage truck. Her foster mother had thrown the body in the trash and reported her missing.
Stephanie’s cause of death could not be exactly determined because the garbage truck crushed her body before it could be found. Because of the lack of evidence and Stephanie’s profound disabilities, her death was ruled natural and her mother was only charged with dumping the body. Stephanie’s foster home was filthy, and Stephanie herself weighed only 23 pounds at death. The most likely scenario is that Stephanie died of illness because her foster mother did not want anyone to know how dirty her house was, and so left the illness untreated.
Perpetrator: Renee Johnson (Foster mother), 60 days in jail for improper disposal of a body.
Source: Girl Found in Trash Truck Lived in Filth, Officials Say
Name: Shane “Moo” Graham.
Died: July 2000.
Age at death: About 10.
Cause of death: Unknown.
Location: Florida, USA.
Disability: Down syndrome, autism, sickle-cell anemia.
Shane was one of eleven children adopted by the same family. When Shane’s siblings were discovered, badly neglected and abused, they told police that Shane had died and their adoptive mother had taken him away. Shane’s body has not been found, but he is presumed dead.
Shane was called “Moo” because it was a sound he often made.
Perpetrator: Judith Leekin (Adoptive mother); charged for child abuse for Shane’s siblings, but since Shane’s body was never found, she has not been charged for his death. Her fraud and abuse charges netted her twenty years in prison.
Source: Shane Graham
Died: Undated; article published January 6, 2016.
Age at death: Newborn, less than 6 days old.
Cause of death: Burned alive, following Yanomami tradition.
Location: Caracaraí, Brazil.
Disability: “a malformation in his leg”.
Quote: When a 21-year-old indigenous woman gave birth to her fourth son in this small settlement in northern Brazil, she noticed that the newborn was suffering from a malformation in his leg. She knew what that meant, but still consulted with the leaders of her Yanomami tribe in a desperate hope for an exception.
It was not to be: the baby was burned alive as part of a ritual, and the ashes were used to prepare a sort of gruel that was offered to all members of the tribe. Though the mother shared her grief with her immediate family, she said she understood that this was the tradition.
Perpetrator: His mother and tribe.
Source: In Brazil, Activists Defend Infanticide Among Indigenous Tribes