Category Archives: Death

It’s Not Over Until The Bucket Is Empty

.jpg photo silhouette of dying woman who reported Child Sex Abuse as part of bucket list
Reporting Child Sexual Abuse after adulthood in Victoria, Australia has increased to 13,000 last year from 4,000 in 2010.

Woman uses bucket list to report uncle for Child Abuse before she dies

Victoria, Australia  –  A woman who was dying from terminal cancer ticked off a truly horrible item from her bucket list when she reported her uncle for abusing her as a child.

The unnamed woman had told her mother about the abuse when she was a teenager but waited until she was dying decades later to report the crime.

Her story was retold by her mother, Kaye, to Victoria Police’s podcast Unspeakable which aims to encourage victims of sexual offences to speak out.

It takes an average of 22 years for survivors of sexual abuse in Australia to tell someone about what happened to them and longer to report it to police.

However, reporting in Victoria, the Australian state where the crime occurred, has increased to 13,000 last year from 4,000 in 2010.

Kaye explained to Unspeakable that her daughter had first told her about the abuse in a phone call after she returned from an overseas trip, aged 19.

However, she told her that she did not want to report the abuse at that time and that she didn’t want her grandmother to know.

‘It was very heavy on the shoulders I can tell you.  At times I didn’t know what to do.  Because she didn’t want to do anything about it, I couldn’t do anything about it,’ she said.

Kaye tried to report the abuse herself but was told by Boronia Police that there was nothing they can do.

Decades later, Kaye’s daughter was diagnosed as terminally ill and had just weeks to live when she drew up a bucket list with reporting the crime at the top of it.

Detective Christine Robinson received the report and filmed Kaye’s daughter in her own home as she detailed what happened to her.

She was then admitted to hospital but police took her written statement to her bedside so she could read it in case she died before her uncle was taken to trial.

Within two days her uncle had been arrested, he confessed to what happened and within a week he had been summoned to court.

He pleaded guilty but due to the limits of the legislation that was used at the time of the offence received a five month suspended sentence and was placed on the sex offenders register.

But Kaye said her daughter would have been blown away by what happened.

She told Unspeakable: ‘She was hoping for a good result.  “It’s fine mum, I can die now knowing he’s going on the sex offenders list”.

‘I was pretty confident we would but she was sure we’d get the outcome we did.’

CA Man Charged With Child Abuse, Torture

.jpg photo of man charged with Child Abuse and Torture
Arthur Combs, 24

Stockton Girl, 7, Dies; Uncle Suspected Of Child Abuse, Torture

STOCKTON, CA  –  A young girl has died and her uncle is under arrest on suspicion of child abuse, authorities say.

Stockton police say officers responded to a home along the 10500 block of Hidden Grove Circle a little after 4 a.m. to investigate a medical call.  As they soon discovered, a 7-year-old girl had been rushed to the hospital.

The girl was later pronounced dead.  Authorities suspect the girl died from injuries sustained from being abused.

Officers have arrested the girl’s uncle, 24-year-old Arthur Combs. He’s facing charges of torture and child abuse resulting in death.

Hot Vehicles Claim 2 AZ Children

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Hot Vehicles Claim 2 AZ Children. #VehiclesAreNotBabySitters

2 Babies die in Phoenix after being left in
hot cars

PHOENIX, AZ  –  For the second time in two days, a baby boy has died after being left for hours in a hot car.

Phoenix police and fire officials were called out at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday to a Church of God in Christ after witnesses called 911.

Fire officials arrived and pronounced 1-year-old Josiah Riggins dead.

Police:  Father forgot baby was in the car

Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said Josiah was in the care of his father at the time of his death.

“Our initial investigation is saying that the father forgot the baby was in the car,” Fortune said.  “The child was unresponsive and had been left in the vehicle for several hours.”

Parents in TN hot car toddler death charged with felony murder

Fortune said investigators were still interviewing the parents to determine exactly what happened.  The baby had not been in the church parking lot for hours; Fortune said the car had been elsewhere before the father drove to the church.

She said she didn’t know where the car had been or why it had ended up at the church.

“Everyone is cooperative,” Fortune said.  “It’s the death of a child. It’s a tragedy.”

No arrests had been made as of Saturday night, Fortune said.

Family members began gathering at the church to support the parents shortly after it happened.

“It’s shocking, devastating, just sad,” said Zettica Mitchell, who said she was a cousin of the baby’s father.  “You feel like it’s something that could happen to anybody.”

She said she had come to the church to support the family, and mentioned hearing about the other baby that had died similarly Friday.

Second death in two days

This death came just 24 hours after 7-month-old Zane Endress died after being left in a car in northeast Phoenix for about four hours, according to Phoenix police.

The boy was in the care of his grandparents at the time, police reported.

These two are the first cases of a child dying in a hot car in Maricopa County this year.  There was at least one death last year.

Fortune reminded parents to take time to check their backseats for their children.

“We hear that parents are saying they forgot their babies in their vehicles,” she said.  “Take some time, again, to look inside your vehicle … to just avoid these tragedies.”

In October, 5-month-old Israel Sebastian Avila died after being left unattended in a car for about four hours.

The baby’s aunt and her boyfriend had been babysitting the child, according to Peoria police officials.  They dropped the baby’s mother off at work and then returned home, reporting that they forgot the baby was in the car until they got back in the car to pick the mother up from work.

TN Toddler Left In Hot Vehicle

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Kiara, 11-month-old, was found dead in a hot car

Officers testify in Child Abuse case

CHATTANOOGA, TN  –  The mother of a baby who died in a hot car in Chattanooga last week, stood before a judge today.

As of now, Jessica Tollett is charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse, but that could change.

Jessica Tollett listened on as officers testified in her child abuse case.

Earlier this month, Tollett’s 11-month-old daughter, Kiara, was found dead in a hot car.

Police have charged the father, Travis McCullough in connection to that.  But this launched an investigation into how her three children were cared for.

The two other children were at the scene and taken to the hospital.

“It appeared they had not been bathed recently.  Now when they were brought food by the hospital, they seemed to be very protective of the food, they ate it fairly quickly,” said SVU Investigator Christopher Grafe, with the Chattanooga Police Department.

After leaving the hospital, investigators went to the couple’s home at College Hill Courts.  The judge and lawyers looked over pictures of what was found.

“Walking straight back into the room, which was the worst room in the house.  It had a couch that looked like it had been torn up, in my opinion by a dog.  From my experience it looked like feces all over the ground,” Grafe said.

This isn’t the first time Tollett and McCullough have been investigated for child abuse.  It happened back in 2012, but charges against them for that were dismissed.

A police sergeant described what the motel they were living in at that time was like.

“Once inside the room the infant was asleep on one of the mattresses.  It didn’t have any sheets on it.  There was a comforter partially covering his face.  I immediately moved that off his face.  His face was dirty, his clothes were dirty, the infant also had a heavily soiled diaper.  You could tell it hadn’t been changed in a while,” Sergeant Jamie Barrow, with the Chattanooga Police Department.

Tollett’s lawyer and Prosecutors agree the charges against her should be changed.

“The highest charge that Ms. Tollett should receive in this case is attempt child neglect,” said Erinn O’Leary, a public defender.

But they disagree on what the new charge should be.

“We can say that judging by this defendant’s prior knowledge of how horribly she was keeping her one kid at that time in 2012, to how she is keeping all three of her kids and even in worse condition now that could certainly rise to serious bodily injury at some point,” prosecutor Boyd Patterson said.

The judge will make a decision about the charges on Wednesday morning.

CA Mother On Trial For Failing To Protect Son

.jpg photo of Doctor testifying in Child Abuse trial
How can any human being ignore the abuse of a Child….

Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse

VISALIA, CA  –  In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.

It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.

His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014.  Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.

Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.

Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.

“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.

Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.

In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.

At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.

“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.

Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized.  Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.

“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.

Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon.  She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.