A 10-year-old girl was tortured by her adoptive parents in Missouri, USA, and died of starvation.
According to local media, the child died on October 3, at the Salem Memorial district Hospital, when he weighed just over 17 kilos.
Authorities found Josie Ann Abney passed out after an alert from her parents and the girl was eventually transported to the hospital.
According to the Dent County office agent, the child was so thin that he “looked like a Holocaust victim.”
The detective, who was not identified, also revealed that the girl had bruises on her face, chest, arms and legs. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
The police issued a search warrant for the home of the adoptive parents, Susan and Randall Abney. According to the records, the authorities found a lock on the refrigerator and canned food was stored in the tallest cupboards, out of the child’s reach.
Josie’s room had only a mattress on the floor, a lamp and a laundry basket. Randall claimed that the girl had voluntarily stopped eating, but the adoptive mother’s version was different. Susan admitted that the couple closed the smallest room whenever they left the house because they had a gun at home.
The reports show that Josie was adopted when she was just 3 years old. The girl was the first of about 12 children adopted by the couple, who had access to subsidies and paid health insurance.
The parents were eventually arrested and charged with a crime of child abuse and neglect. They are expected to go to court on 29 October and, in the case of conviction, they face a sentence of between 10 and 30 years in prison or even life imprisonment.
The local community organized a vigil to raise awareness of possible cases of sexual abuse, similar to Josie’s.
Salem, Mo community remembers 10-year-old Josie Ann Abney. Investigators say it appears she starved to death. Charges have been filed against her adoptive parents. Community members call on everyone to report abuse when they see it. pic.twitter.com/aKnMDjWBK4
– Jeff Bernthal (@JeffBernthal) October 14, 2020