Girl’s head lice so bad she had fatal heart attack as parents face murder charge

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Parents charged with the murder of their 12-year-old daughter who suffered a head lice infestation so bad it triggered a heart attack have been bailed.

More troubling details have emerged surrounding the untimely death of American schoolgirl Kaitlyn Yozviak, who passed away on August 28 last year.

It was discovered she'd had a fatal heart attack caused by severe anaemia, which was likely the result of a case of head lice that investigators say was the worst they'd ever seen.

At the time of her death Kaitlyn was living in a filthy house in Macon, Georgia which was infested with rats, and she hadn't bathed for a week.

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Experts believe she would have been living in constant agony for years after being repeatedly bitten by lice.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent Ryan Hilton testified in September that Kaitlyn was suffering from the most severe lice infestation he'd ever seen.

He said he believed repeated lice bites lowered her blood iron levels, causing anaemia and ultimately the fatal cardiac arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Brent Cochran told media prosecutors are still awaiting Kaitlyn's autopsy results and medical tests to determine exactly why she died.

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

Neighbours told police they hadn't seen Kaitlyn playing around the house in the two months leading up to her death.

Her parents, Mary Katherine Horton, 37, and Joey Yozviak, 38, were charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child cruelty.

On Tuesday they were each granted $100,000 (£73,220) bail.

A second couple, Michele and Dwyatt Creamer, have said they were due to adopt Kaitlyn in June 2008 before Horton and Yozviak changed their minds and kept the baby.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFSC) opened a case into the family after her parents chose not to give her up for adoption.

However they did not receive any reports until 2018 when a call reported the home was infested with bugs and full of cats.

DFSC documents show that Kaitlyn's two brothers have been removed from the family home because of unsanitary conditions.

  • Family
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