Rishonda Jones

No PhotoName: Rishonda “Nickie” Jones.
Died: February 8, 1988.
Age at death: 15.
Cause of death: Neglect.
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Disability: Arthritis, scoliosis.

Neglected by her mother, Rishonda died of starvation and infected bedsores.

She was an honor student who liked to write poetry and short stories.

Perpetrator: Michelle Jones (Mother); charged with manslaughter and child cruelty.

Source: Probe starvation of disabled teen

Katonya Jackson

Photo of Katonya Jackson, a baby with dark-brown skin and curly black hair. She is crawling on hands and knees and smiling broadly at the camera. She is wearing a white shirt and diaper.Name: Katonya Jackson.
Died: 1983.
Age at death: 3.
Cause of death: Untreated epilepsy.
Location: Micanopy, Florida, USA.
Disability: Epilepsy.

Katonya’s mother was in a cult called the House of Prayer, and gave her and her brother to the pastor of the church to care for.

Katonya had seizures, which the pastor took to mean that she had the devil in her. Katonya’s family says she starved and beat Katonya and refused to give her her epilepsy medication.

Katonya died, covered in bruises, from untreated epilepsy. Her death was ruled “preventable”.

Case status:
Lea Vera Jackson (Mother), arrested and released without charges.
Anna Young (House of Prayer pastor), convicted of child abuse in the case of Nikki Nickelson; served six months; convicted of manslaughter, in the case of Katonya Jackson, sentenced to 15 years; convicted of first-degree murder of Eamon “Moses” Harper, sentenced to 30 years concurrent with the manslaughter sentence.

Cult leader’s daughter gives an inside look at the House of Prayer
Anna Young gets 30 years in toddler’s death
Death, abuse and questions — life in an Alachua County cult
House of Prayer residents say torture, abuse was common
Survivors ask: Why did cult misdeeds go by ‘wayside’?
Mother Anna: The Cult Leader Suspected of Torture and Murder

Stephen Hughes

Photo of Stephen Hughes, a small boy with a large head, wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt.Name: Steven Paul Hughes.
Died: June 1, 1982.
Age at death: 2.
Cause of death: Medical neglect.
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA.
Disability: Spina bifida.

Steven was born with spina bifida, but his parents didn’t take him to see a doctor because they didn’t believe in doctors. He didn’t get a wheelchair and had to drag himself around on his forearms instead.

Steven died of untreated pneumonia shortly before his third birthday.

Perpetrator: William Hughes (Father) and his mother, no crime because denying children medical treatment on religious grounds is legal in Idaho.

These Coffins Represent Kids Who Died Because Their Parents Were Faith-Healers
Idahoans protest faith healing exemptions in Boise
183 Coffins For Idaho Children Killed By Faith Healing Parents
Hundreds March for Repeal of Idaho’s Faith Healing Exemptions
Steven Paul Hughes (1979-1982) – Find A Grave
In Idaho, medical-care exemptions for faith healing come under fire

“Baby Doe”

Baby Doe's gravestone. It reads, Baby Doe. You are loved. 1982.Name: “Baby Doe”, Anonymous Male.
Died: April 15, 1982.
Age at death: 6 days.
Cause of death: Fatal Medical Neglect.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Disability: Down syndrome.

Baby Doe was born with Down syndrome and an esophageal atresia, which untreated would result in death, but could be treated surgically with a 90% success rate. Advised by their doctor that the baby would have an intellectual disability, Baby Doe’s parents decided not to proceed with surgery. The hospital staff tried to have the court appoint a guardian for Baby Doe, to override the parents’ decision; but the court denied them. Baby Doe died six days later of starvation and pneumonia from aspirated stomach acid.

Perpetrator: Parents; Walter Owens (Doctor). No crime.

Source: Baby Doe Law

96-year-old woman

No PhotoName Unknown.
Died: Unknown; perpetrators charged in 2017.
Age at death: 96.
Cause of death: Neglect.
Location: Anderson County, South Carolina, USA.
Disability: Unspecified; frail elder, wheelchair user.

This 96-year-old woman’s great-grandson and a woman had moved in to care for her; but instead of doing so, they used meth and neglected her. She died from sepsis, from an infected bedsore.

Perpetrator: Jesse Long (Great-grandson), pleaded guilty to abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in serious bodily injury, sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years probation, as well as 15 years for drug charges; Veronica Bryant (Housemate), pleaded guilty to abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death, sentenced to 3 years in prison and 5 years probation.

Great-grandson, woman plead guilty in 96-year-old’s death
Great-grandson, woman let 96-year-old die from maggot-covered sores

Deborah Leitch

Photo of a young woman with Down syndrome; she has very fair skin and fine blonde hair, and her maroon glasses are slipping down her nose. She is smiling. Name: Deborah Leitch.
Died: August 29, 2019.
Age at death: 24.
Cause of death: Starvation.
Location: South Shore, Blackpool, England, UK.
Disability: Down syndrome.

Deborah’s mother is accused of letting her die from “severe emaciation and neglect;” Deborah was found starved in her home, with a severe and untreated scabies infection.

She was described by her family as a cheerful girl who was “always smiling.”

Case Status:
Elaine Clarke (Mother), charged with gross negligence manslaughter.
Robert Bruce (Household member), charged with allowing or causing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Pair appear in court accused of causing the death of ‘vulnerable’ disabled woman in South Shore
Blackpool woman’s death: Pair charged with manslaughter
Two charged with manslaughter over death of emaciated and neglected 24-year-old
Pair face charges over death of woman with Down’s syndrome by neglect
Two face charges after disabled girl was found dead with ‘severe emaciation’