New details have emerged in the case of a Georgia girl who passed away from what police are calling extreme negligence and excessive pain.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities responded to a home in Wilkerson County on August 27, in response to a call about an unresponsive child. Upon arrival, first responders rushed 12-year-old Kaitlyn Yozviak to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“I was mind-blown when I saw her laying there, so that took a lot out of me knowing the child was unresponsive,” Ivey Police Chief Untimothy Roby said.
According to police, the child’s mother, Mary Katherine “Katy” Horton, made the call to police but investigators say that the mother’s extreme negligence caused the girl excruciating pain, which eventually killed her.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Mary Chandler, said the family had long-standing cases with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.
“Basically there’s a history with Department of Family and Children Services in a number of counties in this area since the child has been born,” Chandler said.
According to court documents, the victim’s two older brothers were previously removed from the suspects’ care due to unsanitary conditions in their home, ABC 13 reports.
In 2008, when Kaitlyn was born, DCFS opened another case when the suspects decided against giving her up for adoption. The potential adoptive parents, Michele and Dwyatt Creamer, said they had everything ready in their home for baby Kaitlyn when they learned the parents changed their mind.
“They didn’t have a home of their own. He worked a part-time job at that point. She didn’t work at all. They felt like they couldn’t provide for her,” Michele Creamer said, according to First Coast News.
“When I went to the hospital, we were supposed to go home that day. I had the car seat. I had the diaper bag. I had her outfit to go home in. I had everything there. When I walked into her room, she was crying.”
“She looked to me that day and said, ‘This baby is supposed to be yours. This baby’s supposed to be yours. I don’t want this baby, but I feel like I have to.”
After Horton took the baby home with her, no calls or reports were made to DCFS for 10 years. In 2018, the agency received a report that Kaitlyn lived in a home that was “bug-infested, [with] excessive cats, and hazardous conditions.”
DCFS placed Kaitlyn with an aunt, but within six days, she was back at home.
GBI Special Agent Ryan Hilton said he thought that persistent lice bites lowered the girl’s iron level, eventually causing anemia. Hilton told a judge that Kaitlyn’s lice infestation was the “most severe” he had ever seen.
Hilton added that medical records indicated Kaitlyn died from cardiac arrest with a secondary cause being severe anemia.
Neighbors reported that they hadn’t Kaitlyn outside for at least a month before her death. Horton admitted that Kaitlyn had not taken a bath or shower in over a week before she died.
Authorities arrested Katy Horton and the child’s father, Joey Yozviak. On Monday, a grand jury determined there was enough evidence to charge the pair child abuse and murder.
Chandler said that the child may have still been alive if not for the COVID-19 pandemic that kept her out of school.
“I do believe that due to the mandate reporters and teachers in the school system which are phenomenal and the people that see kids every day they save lives every day. Due to the fact that this child has not been at school since February, I do believe that’s the cause of her death,” Chandler said.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ivey Police Department at 478-628-2479 or the GBI Region 6 Office at 478-445-4173.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Kaitlyn Yozviak/WMAZ screenshot]