Parents charged with murder after girl’s severe head-lice infestation killed her

A couple have been charged with murder after their daughter suffered an infestation of head-lice so severe it triggered a fatal heart attack.

Kaitlyn Yozviak, 12, developed severe anaemia because she had been bitten by the tiny insects so many times.

Now her 38-year-old father John Joseph “Joey” Yozviak and 37-year-old mother, Mary Kathrine “Katie” Horton have both been charged with second-degree murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said.

Horton called emergency services at just after 2pm on Wednesday September 29, and told them Kaitlyn was unconscious.

The child was taken to the nearby Navicent Medical Centre, where doctors pronounced her dead.

Medical records show Kaitlyn died from cardiac arrest with severe anaemia listed as a secondary cause, special agent Ryan Hilton told Wilkinson County Superior Court.

An autopsy determined that she had suffered what the GBI described as “excessive physical pain due to medical negligence.”

After Kaitlyn’s death, the GBI conducted a search at the family home. They determined that the 12-year-old had been forced to live in filthy conditions, with vermin crawling over every surface.

The house was also described as being filled with an “excessive” amount of cats.

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services had previously taken two children away from Kaitlyn’s parents due to the unsanitary conditions in the home, but although a couple had offered to adopt the girl, Yozviak and Horton changed their mind after initially putting her up for adoption.

Kaitlyn’s grandmother Anna Horton said that she would have been willing to care for the child, if only child services had stepped in and taken the girl away from her neglectful parents.

She said: “Had the system done their job and rescued Kaitlyn, I would have raised her,” she said

Despite all her disadvantages Kaitlyn was doing well at school.

Lelin Holt, who taught her at Clifton Ridge Middle School in Ivey, told WMAZ: “She was a very sweet, sweet girl. Always respectful, I've never had any issues out of her at all.

She added: “"I never saw anything that was super-off, anything to report. If I did, I would've definitely reported."

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