Nicholas Wallwork

No PhotoName: Nicholas James Wallwork.
Died: December 27, 2023.
Age at death: 66.
Cause of death: Heroin overdose.
Location: Taylorsville, Utah, USA.
Disability: Dementia.

Medics found Nicholas on the floor, not breathing, and could not revive him. Nicholas’s niece allegedly poisoned him with heroin; police say she told them that she was trying to “ease the pain”.

Case Status:
Kimberly Wallwork (Niece), charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Woman accused of killing uncle who had dementia in Taylorsville
Utah woman admits to giving uncle multiple doses of heroin before his death, police say

Ethan Ruiz

No PhotoName: Ethan Ortiz Ruiz.
Died: October 14, 2023.
Age at death: 3.
Cause of death: Drowning.
Location: Sanford, Florida, USA.
Disability: Autism.

Ethan went missing and was found later that day drowned in a pond; he was rushed to the hospital, but could not be resuscitated. At first this was thought to be an unforeseeable accident, since young children, especially those who are autistic, often love water and do not understand the danger of drowning. However, when police investigated, they found that Ethan’s parents had known that he was completely capable of leaving the house unsupervised. He had been lost three times before he died, and no precautions had been taken to prevent it from happening again. His parents were under the influence of marijuana when Ethan left the house for the final time.

Case Status:
Barbara Ruiz (Mother), charged with aggravated manslaughter.
Lester Ortiz (Father), charged with aggravated manslaughter.

Autism Memorial: Ethan Ruiz
Toddler wanders from apartment and drowns in pond, Florida cops say. Parents charged
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Autistic toddler drowns while weed-smoking parents were inside apartment

Dylan Davis

Photo of Dylan Davis, a boy with short brown hair and fair skin, photographed outdoors. He is grinning at the camera.Name: Dylan Martin Davis.
Died: November 17, 2017.
Age at death: 11.
Cause of death: Positional asphyxia.
Location: Georgetown, Ohio, USA.
Disability: Autism.

When Dylan had a meltdown, his step-grandfather–a very large man–sat on him to restrain him and suffocated him to death.

Case status:
Donald Martin Jr. (Step-grandfather), pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, but was then allowed to withdraw his plea; found innocent because the court decided he had not known his actions would be fatal.

Autism Memorial: Dylan Davis
Police arrest and charge 400-pound man in death of 11-year-old autistic step-grandson
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Ohio boy crushed by 28-stone grandad
400-pound Ohio man pleads guilty to accidentally smothering step-grandson
400-pound man admits accidentally crushing step-grandson, 11, to death
400 lb grandpa pleads guilty to suffocating 11 year old autistic boy
Ohio granddad pleaded guilty in pinning death of grandson. Then a judge cleared his name
400-Pound Man Who Crushed Grandson To Death Found Not Guilty

Irene McLean

Photo of Irene McLean, an elderly woman with curly white hair and fair skin, wearing an embroidered sweater.Name: Irene McLean.
Died: January 10, 2017.
Age at death: 96.
Cause of death: Malnutrition, failure to thrive.
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
Disability: Alzheimer’s disease.

Irene died from malnutrition and multiple rib fractures, after being removed from her home by adult protective services in terrible shape.

Irene visited over 100 countries during her lifetime. She liked swimming, yoga, and dance, and could still do the splits in her late 80s.

Case status:
Cause of death ruled undetermined. Autopsy findings included skin ulcers from abuse or neglect and multiple rib fractures.
Police are questioning family, especially a caregiver who would have been an heir to her estate.

Malnutrition, Alzheimer’s and broken ribs cause of death for elderly woman taken from Virginia Beach home
A 96-year-old Virginia Beach woman was found with bruises and skin tears. Her friends want to know why.
Death of elderly Virginia Beach woman found with bruises, skin tears spurs police probe
96-year-old woman dies after being removed from horrific condition
Friends search for answers after death of 96-year-old woman found with bruises, torn skin
Friends want to know what happened to Irene McLean

Stella Hamilton

No PhotoName: Stella Hamilton.
Died: July 31, 2016.
Age at death: 72.
Cause of death: Undetermined.
Location: Malanda, Queensland, Australia.
Disability: Dementia, terminally ill.

Stella’s family talked to staff at her nursing home, asking whether she could be euthanized, and were told that this was illegal. They also requested that 24 hours’ worth of morphine be left in her room, and were refused. One of her children said another had told them that if they covered her face, she would “go quicker”. Shortly after the family’s request for euthanasia, Stella was found dead with a blanket over her face. She could not have pulled the blanket up herself, but other residents theoretically had access to her room. Her family was seen celebrating that she had died, though this could have been relief that she was no longer in pain.

Case status:
Inquest determined that, despite the troubling factors in Stella’s death, her cause of death could not be determined because she was already terminally ill.

Inquest into the death of Stella Hamilton
Mystery surrounds aged care resident found dead with blanket over head
Daughter asked doctor to euthanase terminally ill mother, inquest hears

Lydia Whitford

Photo of Lydia Whitford. She is a young woman with fair skin and dark brown hair; she is wearing a turquoise jacket and pink baseball cap. Her mouth is open and her face relaxed in a neutral expression. Name: Lydia Whitford.
Died: July 14, 2016.
Age at death: 18.
Cause of death: Possible homicide; possible natural death after abuse.
Location: Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada.
Disability: Autism, epilepsy.

Lydia’s death was originally ruled natural, but her mother and sister saw bruises on her body and pushed for an investigation. More than a year later later, Lydia’s foster mother was charged with manslaughter. Exactly how Lydia died has not been released.

Her sister told reporters that “I want people to remember her as the kind and loving person she was.”

Case status:
Lisa Marie Campbell (Foster mother), charged with manslaughter, charges stayed.

Autism Memorial: Lydia Whitford
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Noama Ware

Blurry photo of a white-haired old lady with pale, wrinkled skin, her mouth open as though she is about to speak.Name: Noama Ware.
Died: October 2014.
Age at death: 78.
Cause of death: Undetermined, in the setting of abuse and neglect.
Location: Shelley, Idaho, USA.
Disability: Frail elder, likely dementia/hoarding.

Noama’s husband and son both abused her. After an argument about her keeping her many cats in her bedroom, her son kicked her, injuring her severely; and then as she lay in bed, her grandson kicked her. They found her dead shortly thereafter.

Afraid that they would get in trouble because Noama was malnourished and abused, they buried her body in their duck pen, and her death went unnoticed for five years until her daughter died in a car accident and the police tried to find her to break the news.

Case status:
Harley Howell (Grandson), pleaded guilty to failure to report a death, sentenced to 3-10 years in prison.
Douglas Howell (Son), pleaded guilty to abuse and neglect of an elder, sentenced to 4 days in jail, $387.50 in fees, and 50 hours community service.

Local man sentenced to four days in jail for abuse and neglect of 78 year-old woman
Man admits to killing his grandmother and burying her in the backyard nearly 5 years ago
Shelley man sentenced after hiding grandmother’s death
Teen ‘killed bedridden grandma after row about her keeping 30 cats in her room’
Man admits to killing his grandmother and burying her in the backyard nearly 5 years ago

Marcia Clark

Photo of Marcia Clark. She is a thin elderly woman with pale skin and gray hair, wearing glasses and a purple long-sleeved shirt. Name: Marcia Clark.
Died: July 20, 2014.
Age at death: 83.
Cause of death: Starvation and infection.
Location: Taree, New South Wales, Australia.
Disability: Frail elder; caregiver claimed dementia and Parkinson’s.

Marcia died of infected bed sores and starvation after being neglected by her daughter.

The death was ruled as having been of “natural causes… the combined effects of severe malnutrition and infection… after a period of being neglected by her carer.”

Case status:
Nardia Clark (Daughter), no charges; went missing, found dead in 2016.

How the system failed this elderly mother and her daughter who couldn’t cope
Death of Marcia Clark: Coroner finds daughter struggled to care for elderly mother
Findings Marcia Clark.pdf

Lucas Braman

Photo of Lucas Braman.Name: Lucas Braman.
Died: February 13, 2014.
Age at death: 23 months.
Cause of death: Unknown; possibly restraint-related.
Location: West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, USA.
Disability: “Autistic-like behaviors”; born addicted to narcotics.

Lucas was found dead wearing a helmet and wrapped in a weighted blanket much too heavy for him; the autopsy was inconclusive. His caretaker had been abusive in the past.

Case status:
Sheryl Erb (Caregiver), no charges.
Elizabeth Cavallini (Caregiver); charged with child rape, assault and battery on a child, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and intimidation of a witness, juror, police, or court official.

Barnstable grand jury indicts woman, 29, on child rape and assault charges
Autism Memorial: Lucas Braman
How did Lucas Braman die?
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Amelia Dew

No PhotoName: Amelia Dew.
Died: June 19, 2013.
Age at death: 2.
Cause of death: Head injury.
Location: Gosport, England, UK.
Disability: Myotonic dystrophy.

When Amelia was brought to the hospital with a massive head injury, her stepfather, who had been watching her, claimed she had hit her head on a chair she was strapped into during tube-fed meals. Amelia died four days later.

Initially, her stepfather was arrested, but not charged. Two years later, doctors who examined Amelia came forward, stating that her injuries were highly consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Case status:
Robin Dowse (Stepfather), no charges.
Inquest underway.

The inquest into the death of two-year-old Amelia Dew has been halted due to police receiving new information
Inquest into Gosport toddler’s death due to restart after police probe ends
Police investigation into Gosport toddler’s death reopened