Name: Thomas Valva. Died: January 17, 2020. Age at death: 8. Cause of death: Abuse. Location: Long Island, New York, USA. Disability: Autism.
Thomas lived with his father and his father’s fiancee. He and his brother were often starved and made to sleep in the unheated garage. One freezing night, Thomas died from hypothermia.
Thomas was a friendly, well-liked second-grader who enjoyed playing outside. When he was two, he spoke his first words–“Ball” and “go”–while playing with a therapist, rolling a ball back and forth. He also liked puzzles.
Perpetrator: Michael Valva (Father) and Angelina Pollana (Father’s girlfriend), charged with second-degree murder.
Name: Conner Seth Snyder. Died: September 26, 2019. Age at death: 8. Cause of death: Multiple Murder. Location: Albany, Pennsylvania, USA. Disability: Speech delay, learning disabilities, poor dexterity.
Other Victim: Brinley Louise Snyder, age 4, Conner’s sister (non-disabled).
Conner liked video games and building forts.
Conner’s mother hanged him and his sister Brinley from a dog lead in their basement. She tried to pass it off as a suicide, claiming that Conner had been bullied at school because of his disability, and had killed himself and his little sister; but police established that Conner didn’t have the dexterity necessary to use the dog lead to hang himself, and his mother had been researching hanging online.
Perpetrator: Lisa Rachelle Snyder (Mother), charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and endangering the welfare of children.
Name: Jakie Toole. Died: September 11, 2019 (Body found), last seen April 2019. Age at death: 5. Cause of death: Abuse. Location: Meridian, Mississippi, USA. Disability: Unspecified special needs; mobility and communication impairment.
Jakie’s mother left him with a family friend to serve as a caregiver. His body was found in a garbage bag in her basement, and an autopsy showed he had died of trauma from a beating. The caregiver reported she had burned him in a bathtub and beaten him for crying.
Perpetrator: Celeste Louise Smith (Caregiver), charged with murder and child neglect.
Name: Skylea Carmack. Died: September 4, 2019. Age at death: 10. Cause of death: Murder. Location: Gas City, Indiana, USA. Disability: Developmental disability, possibly autism.
Skylea’s stepmother strangled her, then reported her missing, saying she had vanished from her home. Police issued a Silver Alert, announcing that Skylea had a history of running away to her mother’s home and might have an autism awareness blanket with her. Skylea’s body was found behind her home several days later.
Skylea was one of six siblings.
Perpetrator: Amanda Carmack (Stepmother), charged with murder, neglect of a dependent, strangulation, and domestic battery.
Name: Malachi Lawson. Died: August 4, 2019. Age at death: 4. Cause of death: Abuse. Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Disability: Walked with a limp; possibly autism
Malachi’s mother and her partner initially reported him missing. Later, they admitted they had burned him by making him sit in a bathtub full of hot water after he had a potty-training accident. His body was found in a dumpster.
Malachi loved Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse. He liked dancing and his favorite color was blue. He had been taken into foster care, but returned to his mother and her partner.
Perpetrator: Alicia Lawson (Mother) and Shatika Lawson (Mother’s partner), both charged with neglect resulting in the death of a minor, first-degree child abuse, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and false statement.
L. A. C. Died: July 20, 2019. Age at death: 6. Cause of death: Murder. Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. Disability: Autism.
This little boy, known only by his initials, was hit in the head until he was unconscious by his stepfather, who then waited hours to bring him to the hospital. On arrival, he was too injured to live. He had his sixth birthday while he was unconscious at the hospital, and died two days later.
Perpetrator: Carl Bookout (Stepfather), charged with reckless homicide and with not providing his updated address for the sex-offender registry.