When The Children of Single Parents End Up Dead

| 09/21/2011 | Comments (3)

In June 2011, a 20 year old single mother living in Chicago beat and suffocated her 3-month-old son because he wouldn’t stop crying. The next morning she strapped him into a Baby Bjorn and went shopping with the dead infant as if nothing were wrong.

A 21 year old New York mom smacked her 5 year old son so hard in his stomach and back that he died 5 days later of internal injuries. She was furious because he broke the television while playing Nintendo WII.

In Jacksonville, Florida a 22 year old mom was arrested for shaking her three month old son to death. She is reported to have told police that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette “to compose herself”, and then shook him again. She was upset because his crying interrupted her playing an online video game.

A Knotts Island, North Carolina 16 year old teenager went to a hospital emergency room to report that she had given birth and that the baby had died. Police came to her home and collected the corpse, turning it over to the medical examiner for autopsy. Findings: the newborn died of multiple stab wounds inflicted by its teenaged mother.

A 31 year old Ohio woman was recently convicted of killing her 28 day old baby girl. She placed her daughter in a microwave oven and turned it on, reportedly distraught after a fight with her boyfriend over whether or not he was the baby’s biological father.

Finally, just last week a 25-year old St. Louis mother of three was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She is accused of killing her 5-year old son and 4-year old daughter by shooting them in the head with a shotgun. Her oldest child, an 8-year old boy, was able to escape the carnage. Her relatives are defending her by claiming she is bi-polar and on anti-depressant medication. Isn’t it interesting though that not one of them thought it might be important to protect the children by removing them from the care of a mentally ill mother?

Young fathers are not immune to the pressure of parenting themselves.

A 22 year old New Orleans father confessed murdering his toddler son to avoid paying $4,000 in back child support. After his story that the child was abducted was disproven, he admitted to stuffing the child’s body in a bag and dumping it in a playground.

A young father who by all accounts was nothing but “a normal guy” living with his girlfriend and new baby was arrested and charged with murdering his four month old. The baby was found to be suffering from brain bleeds, skull fractures and multiple rib fractures.

In Houston, an allegedly mature 31 year old father admitted to punching his 5 month old daughter in the abdomen so hard he killed her. He was angry because she wouldn’t stop crying.

In Los Angeles, a 17 year old father kidnapped his 5-month-old baby after calling the child’s mother and threatening to hurt the child. An Amber Alert was issued. When police saw the suspect and attempted to stop him, he fatally stabbed the infant. Deputies, helpless to stop him, watched in horror.

What is it about parenting that causes young men and women to become neglectful, abusive, and to react with violence towards their infants and toddlers?


Child Abuse: What is it and Who is Most Affected?

Each State has laws which define abusive acts which may be addressed in criminal or civil courts. However, the U.S. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect as:

Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

CAPTA goes on to provide a detailed explanation of sexual abuse, which includes:

The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or

The rape, and in cases of caretaker or interfamilial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.


According to statistics, young children are the most vulnerable; one-third of the reported victims of child abuse were under the age of four. More children 0–4 years of age in the United States die from homicide than from infectious diseases or cancer. In the United States, an average of four children die every single day due to abuse and neglect.

Young children at the highest risk of homicide are those under age one. Homicides of children in this group include a certain number of infanticides (homicides in which recently born children are killed by relatives who do not want the child, are ill equipped to care for the child, or are suffering from a childbirth-related psychiatric disturbance).

(Children in households where the parents are married have the lowest risk for neglect and abuse of any demographic.)


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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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  1. Jules says:

    These stories are so sad. I absolutely love your no-nonsense style of laying out the truth. I hope some young woman who is contemplating having a child out of wedlock for the ‘love’ of her life comes upon this piece before it’s too late.

    I too get tired of the whole ” a child is a blessing” mantra that is thrown out there. A child is the product of a biological act that all creatures on earth participate in, granted some reproduce asexually. There is nothing magical about making a child, it takes no skills, most everybody can do it. So many ppl are on this blessing trip that they fail to acknowledge the actual work that will go into taking care of a physical being that is 100% dependent on its parent/s for everything, and that will remain in their life for as long as they live. When the harsh reality hits, they start treating their ‘blessing’ like a curse.

    Also Deb, these are the extreme cases, many children will not die but will still suffer terrible physical and emotional abuse in these home that will adversely affect them for a lifetime. I wont even touch the pedophilia angle because I can’t handle that right now. But I do hope your sane words reach the ears, or eyes of those who need to receive it.

  2. TruLove says:

    To all my young single ladies with NO children reading this : PLEASE TAKE HER CAUTIONARY ARTICLE SERIOUSLY!!! she has spoken nothing but pure truth. There will be plenty of time for this later…..get your education first, get to know you, establish yourself, find a loving established, ready mature HUSBAND then carry on……

    To all my young single moms WITH children reading this: PLEASE TAKE HER CAUTIONARY ARTICLE SERIOUSLY!!! she has spoken nothing but pure truth. You already have children, put them first and foremost. DO NOT HAVE ANYMORE!! DO NOT PUT A MAN ABOVE THEM. at this point in time, jump on the boat and get an education (read, read, read), there are still a few resources left out there, but time is of the essence. The economy is weak and soon the last of these “freebies” is going to dry up, so do it now!!! Take care of yourself and your child, find a support system that is healthy for you and your child but once again, DO NOT HAVE ANYMORE RIGHT NOW!!! i know what I am about to say is not ideal and may even be unpopular, but here goes. When we have children first, we have to face the possibility of having a hard time getting the good man for reasons she stated above. It is what it is, its frustrating yes but it’s not your baby’s fault. Its also not the end of the world!!! your priority has to be a focus on bettering yourself and your child. It could very well be in the best interest of your child to WAIT until your child grows up, yes I said it WAIT until your child grows up before dating…If you had your child young, say age 20, By the time your child is 18 you will only be 38….You will have plenty of time to get out there and do your thing but put your kids and education first!!!!I cant state this enough.
    GET YOU TOGETHER. when we make our bed, we have to lie in it, but all hope is not lost….

    I say all of this out of love and experience. Be smart ladies…. Deborrah is the TRUTH.
    I am urging all of you ladies to take this article, pass it on, consider what she is saying and take care of your business.

  3. Lyndon says:

    Powerful read. My mother worked for Child Protection for 30 yrs. I know these stories very well. Sad part is there are so many different forms of neglect that no one knows it better than the child being neglected who grows up wondering what the hell is wrong with them. These same folk never learned love and have a hard time giving it, but blame other people. Its a vicious cycle.

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