Andrew Freund Jr.

Photo of a small boy in a big blue baseball cap and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt. He has pale skin and his ears stick out, and he is smiling, showing he still has all his baby teeth.Name: Andrew “AJ” Freund Jr.
Died: April 24, 2019.
Age at death: 5.
Cause of death: Head injury.
Location: Woodstock, Illinois, USA.
Disability: Parents claimed he had oppositional defiant disorder to justify abuse. Whether AJ had a disability is unknown.

AJ spent some time in a foster home before being returned to his parents. His foster parents and one of his grandmothers released a statement that said, “This smart little boy loved having books read to him, doing puzzles, his Thomas the Train, playing with his fire trucks, bulldozers, cement mixer and Ninja Turtles. He was very curious and always wanted to learn about everything.”

AJ was regularly abused by his parents. He died of head injuries after having been forced to take a cold shower and beaten because he had lied about having dirty underwear.

Case status:
Joann Cunningham (Mother), pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, sentenced to 35 years.
Andrew Freund Sr. (Father), pleaded guilty to aggravated battery to a child, involuntary manslaughter, and concealing a homicidal death; sentenced to 30 years.

AJ Freund’s mother sentenced to 35 years in his beating, cold shower murder
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Andrew ‘AJ’ Freund’s foster family releases statement: ‘AJ was loved by us’
Photos of AJ Freund’s Crystal Lake home reveal filthy living conditions
Cell phone video led to father’s confession in the killing of 5-year-old AJ Freund, police say
Grand jury indicts parents of slain Crystal Lake 5-year-old AJ Freund; court hearing scheduled for Friday morning

Robbie Ballenger

Photo of a young boy with CP, looking off to the right.Name: Robbie Ballenger, also called Robert Williams.
Died: April 15, 2019.
Age at death: 8.
Cause of death: Pneumonia, malnutrition.
Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA.
Disability: Cerebral palsy, epilepsy.

Robbie lived, along with his twin brother and six other children, with his grandmother and five other adults. The children didn’t go to school or get medical care.

Robbie’s grandmother neglected him. He was not fed enough, and at the age of 8, he died of pneumonia secondary to starvation, weighing only 18 pounds.

Case status:
Geneen Romalia Ballenger (Grandmother), pleaded guilty to child abuse and reckless disregard for human life, sentenced to 10-21 months in prison, suspended, and 18 months probation.

Fayetteville grandmother pleads guilty in death of disabled 8-year-old grandson
DA: Fayetteville grandma faces 2 years max after child starved to death
Fayetteville boy who starved to death in grandmother’s care had cerebral palsy, weighed 18 pounds :
Fayetteville grandmother faces 2 years max for starving disabled child to death
Disabled boy, 8, ‘was so badly starved by granny his corpse looked like a baby’

Dhunalutchmee Naidoo

Black and white photo of a woman with straight, dark hair and a puzzled expression on her face.Name: Dhunalutchmee Naidoo.
Died: April 8, 2019.
Age at death: 69.
Cause of death: Throat cut.
Location: Durban, South Africa.
Disability: “An unknown disease”; bedbound.

When Dhunalutchmee’s husband failed to suffocate her with a pillow, he slit her throat with a kitchen knife instead. He said he had done it because she was a large woman and he had difficulty picking her up to give her a bath.

Case status:
Dickson Naidoo (Husband), pleaded guilty to murder, given a 5-year suspended sentence.

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Jaden and Jorden Webb

Name: Jaden Webb.
Name: Jorden Webb.
Died: April 4, 2019.
Age at death: 8.
Cause of death: Gunshot.
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Disability: Autism.  

Jaden and Jorden, twin brothers, were shot dead by their grandmother.

Case status:
Dorothy Flood (Grandmother), pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, sentenced to 21 years.

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Tika Young

Photo of a young woman with bushy brown hair, leaning against a car, wearing a printed camo T-shirt.Name: Tika Young.
Died: March 30, 2019.
Age at death: 37.
Cause of death: Bludgoned.
Location: Blue Ridge, Arizona, USA.
Disability: Chronic back pain, arthritis.

Tika’s housemate bludgeoned her to death with a side table and then tried to hide her body. He claimed that she had asked him to hit her and he knew she meant that he wanted her to kill her because of her chronic pain, but her family said that Tika didn’t want to die and her pain wasn’t severe so that story didn’t make sense. Her killer impersonated her on Facebook for weeks after the murder, but her family noticed something was wrong and asked for a welfare check.

Case status:
Patrick Nagel (Housemate), pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, sentenced to 25 years.

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Blue Ridge man pleads not guilty to first-degree murder
Arizona murder suspect impersonated victim for weeks, brother says

Sam Koets

Photo of a smiling boy in a helmet. His arms are strapped to his sides.Name: Sam Koets.
Died: March 28, 2019.
Age at death: 16.
Cause of death: Drowning, hypothermia.
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
Disability: Autism.

Sam was made to live in the family’s unfinished basement, in horrible conditions. He died when his father left him alone, hands tied, near the family’s pool on a cold spring day. A little while later, he texted Sam’s thirteen-year-old sister, asking her to check on Sam. She sent back a photo of Sam, wading chest-deep in the pool, which was so cold it had ice floating on top. Sam’s father, however, did nothing to help Sam; he did not call emergency services, attempt to return home, or contact anyone but Sam’s thirteen-year-old sister who was watching Sam die in front of her eyes. Sam’s body was found floating in the icy pool; he had been dead at least an hour.

Case status:
Timothy Koets (Father), charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse, second-degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child and fourth-degree child abuse, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, sentenced to 2-15 years in prison.
Michelle Koets (Mother), sentenced to 21 days in jail for refilling Sam’s Ritalin prescriptions after he died.

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Ashlyn Ellis

Photo of Ashlyn Ellis, a young girl with long brown hair, looking at the camera, biting her lower lip. She is wearing a purple sweater.Name: Ashlyn Rayanne Ellis.
Died: March 17, 2019.
Age at death: 14.
Cause of death: Smoke inhalation during house fire.
Location: St. James, Missouri, USA.
Disability: Physical disability, nonspeaking.

Ashlyn was neglected by her mother. She died when she was left alone at home and the house caught on fire. She could not escape because she was in her bed, which had been transformed into a makeshift cage that locked from the outside.

Case status:
Tracy Ellis (Mother), charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment; pled guilty to first-degree child endangerment, sentenced to 14 years.

Ellis sentenced to 14 years in DOC
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Ronald Williams

No PhotoName: Ronald Williams.
Died: March 14, 2019.
Age at death: 49.
Cause of death: Shot.
Location: Morrisdale, Pennsylvania, USA.
Disability: Stroke.

Ronald was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. His wife claimed that he had killed himself; but police investigators found that the weapon had been fired from too far away to be a suicide. Ronald’s wife was arrested and charged with murder; the prosecution argued that she had killed him because she was due to receive $1 million in inheritance. In the end, she was convicted only of manslaughter and walked free from court.

Case Status:
Kimberly Sue Williams (Wife), convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, sentenced to time served.

Williams sentenced to time served for involuntary manslaughter
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Noeleen Marinovich

Photo: A middle-aged woman in a soft orange suit, smiling for the camera.Name: Noeleen Ann Marinovich.
Died: February 7, 2019.
Age at death: 59.
Cause of death: Head injury.
Location: Oratia, North Island, New Zealand.
Disability: Bipolar disorder, mobility impaired.

Noeleen’s son strangled her, then bludgeoned her to death with a hammer.

For her 60th birthday, she wanted to go to Queenstown. She died at age 59.

Case status:
Martin Marinovich (Son), convicted of murder, sentenced to life.

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Evelyn Scott

No PhotoName: Evelyn H. Scott.
Died: February 7, 2019.
Age at death: 77.
Cause of death: Sharp-force injury.
Location: Murray, Kentucky, USA.
Disability: Alzheimer’s disease.

Evelyn lived with her niece and her niece’s boyfriend. Her neighbors rarely saw her, but her niece, 37-year-old Tera Todd, was often seen walking Evelyn’s little dog.

Her caregiver’s boyfriend killed Evelyn and Tera by stabbing Tera and slashing Evelyn’s throat. He also strangled the dog.

Case status:
Todd Scott (Niece’s boyfriend), pleaded guilty to 2 counts of murder, sentenced to 40 years.

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Evelyn Scott
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