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Ethiopian adoptee starved dead in WA home


by KING 5 News
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The parents of 13-year-old Hanna Williams were taken into custody Thursday evening accused of starving their daughter and keeping her locked outside.

Hanna Williams was found dead in her backyard on May 12, naked and wrapped in a sheet. She had been living with her adoptive parents since coming to America from Ethiopia in 2008. After months of investigation, her adopted parents have been charged in connection with her death.

More: Probable cause affidavit (graphic, disturbing content)

Skagit County Prosecutor Richard Weyrich said the ranked among the worst he’s ever prosecuted. Larry and Carri Williams were charged Thursday with homicide by abuse.

In the charging documents, Carri Williams talked about how much she disliked her two adopted Ethiopian children. A 10-year-old boy and Hanna.

“She died of hypothermia and you know part of that is having lost so much weight over the past year, months…she had lost 30 pounds,” Weyrich said.

According to charging documents her adopted parents, Carri and Larry Williams starved her for days, put her in a locked closet, shower room and forced her to sleep outside in the barn in the cold. She wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom in the house, instead a porta-potty behind the barn. In addition, Hanna was struck daily with a plumbing tool, a tube with a round ball on the end.

“The constant striking and not speaking to her would have different effects on a person,” said Weyrich.

Specifically, last Christmas when Hanna was forced to watch the family celebrate Christmas from outside and only let in when her parents had guests.

All of the William’s biological children and adopted son have been removed from the home. In the documents, a book entitled “To Train a Child Up,” was referenced. Weyrich says it includes punishment techniques the Williams’ mimicked. There have been other child abuse cases linked to the book across the country.

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