Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ryan C. Lewis - 2001

14-year-old Ryan C. Lewis was found hanging not far from a campsite class room. He was treated for depression and his parents had warned about the risk of suicide. Still he was left alone long enough to end his life. The management just closed the program down and founded a boarding school for girls instead. Wilderness programs can be dangerous because the teenagers are exposed to the elements. That claims the lives of lot of the teenagers as you can read on this blog.

But here the employees showed neglect. They should have watched. They didn't.

It was a tragedy for his parents who believed that they had found a treatment method for their teenage boy. It should not have been allowed to happen. He should have been allowed a long life.

May he find peace where he is now.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Stephanie Duffield - 2001

16-year-old Stephanie Duffield died at Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in 2001. First it was ruled as an accident, but later when the number of children who died in the Daystar operated facilities started to pile up, investigation was reopened.

Many children like Stephanie Duffield died when adult employees tried to restrain them. The employees were not trained and the facilities had no motivation to train them as training cost money and it would reduce profit.

It is hard to conclude, what killed Stephanie Duffield was not so much what the employees did but also that the management saw profit as more important than the welfare and safety of the children.

While the investigation was re-opened, we have not seen whether it meant that she got the justice she deserved.

Her family lost her forever and she was not allowed to reach adulthood.

May she find peace where she is now.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Aaron Owen - 17 (1990)

A 17 year old boy was found with a girl by the girls uncle. He escaped by stealing a car. The police decided to charge him as an adult which was unusual in the state at the time but properly motivated by his sisters involvement in the Franklin Scandal (A scandal never fully investigated due to potential involvement of politicians on the highest level).

The family got poor legal assistance and allowed the case not going to trial in front of a jury who might have been able to see what really was going on, so a case which normally will have resulted in probation resulted in prison instead.

He was found hanging in his cell. The official ruling was suicide. However injuries on his body suggest a fight before the alleged suicide. It will properly never be revealed if it in fact was suicide or just a message to his sister so she would shut up about being a victim in the scandal. Unwillingly he became part of something bigger he could not survive.

Regardless of what took place it was a tragedy for his family. They lost a son and a brother.

May he find peace where he is now.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales - 2014

15 year old Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales died as result of a fight with an old boy. It is unknown why the two boys were unsupervised at the time of the fight. It is not the first death at the ranch. In 1991 another boy mentioned in this blog died as result of restraint by the staff at the ranch. Of course the state is once again looking at the ranch trying to determine if they want to risk a third death in the future.

But regardless of the outcome of this investigation, the fact remains that a family lost their boy. It is a tragedy impacting the entire family.

May he find peace where he is now.

State faults treatment center in death of Travis County teen (My Statesman)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Shaquan Allen - 2016

Only days before he was to leave for less restricted settings, 16 year old Shaquan Allen came into a conflict with two employees at the Lake Villa campus belonging to the Allendale Association. Poorly executed conflict resolution from the staff members resulted in the death of the boy. The police is conducting an investigation. Criminal charges have been brought forward. The court system will have to make a judgment on that.

But despite the outcome of the trial the family of the deceased boy dont get their boy back. It is unknown what brought Shaquan Allen to the facility but his death was not part of the purpose of his stay. It is a tragedy for his family.

May he find peace where he is now.

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