Saturday, September 21, 2013

Christopher Ladell Hill - 2006

17 year old Chris Hill had certainly seen more in life than most children. All too much.

Various family members did their outmost to help him and his sibling when his mother passed away when he was only 4 years old. When his family gave up due to the economy, the State of Texas placed him in foster care. As life is for a child in foster care in almost every country it is constant movement between group homes and foster families. As some point he ended up at Azleway. The ranch markets itself with:

  • A rural setting
  • An on-campus school
  • Structured homework time
  • Family style outings
  • Structured therapeutic recreation
  • Boys Scout Troop
  • Basketball goals
  • Tennis courts
  • Covered pavilion
  • Recreation Center
  • Athletic fields
  • Sunday morning worship
  • Wednesday evening chapel

It certainly sounds nice, but for the boy and one of his friends the distance and isolation from their family and friends - their entire social network became too much.

They were killed when they were hit by a train. Was it a suicide or an escape attempt going wrong?

We cannot know. An article in Houston Chronicle states that it was suicide but none was there when it did happen, so can we be sure?

What we do know are that it was a tragedy for their family and a reminder to us to do everything possible to avoid residential care.

May they rest in peace.

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