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The girl's death is related to the most severe lice infestation officials had ever seen.


Parents are charged with murder after the lice infestation in the hair of the 12-year-old daughter caused her death because repeated bites lowered her blood-iron levels and caused a heart attack for three years

  • Kaitlyn Yozviak died on August 26 of cardiac arrest and severe anemia
  • Mary Katherine Horton and Joey Yozviak were charged with murder
  • Ryan Hilton, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that Kaitlyn had the "worst" lice infestation the GBI office has ever seen
  • He said he believed that repeated bites from the lice lowered their iron levels in the blood, which likely caused the anemia and possibly triggered the heart attack
  • Judge Brenda Trammell agreed that there was enough evidence of second degree murder charges against her parents to stand before a grand jury
  • The couple were also charged with second degree cruelty

Kaitlyn Yozviak died on August 26 of cardiac arrest and severe anemia

A 12-year-old girl from Georgia may have died as an indirect result of a severe lice infestation that may have lasted for years.

Kaitlyn Yozviak died of cardiac arrest on August 26th. A secondary cause was severe anemia, WMAZ-TV reported. Her parents Mary Katherine & # 39; Katie & # 39; Horton, 37, and Joey Yozviak, 38, were charged with murder.

Ryan Hilton, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that at the time of her death, Kaitlyn had the "worst" lice infestation the GBI office had ever seen, and that it could have lasted at least three years.

He said he believed repeated bites from the lice lowered their blood iron levels, which likely caused the anemia and possibly triggered the heart attack.

Wilkinson County Supreme Court judge Brenda Trammell agreed that there was enough evidence of second degree murder charges against her parents to stand before a grand jury. The couple were also charged with second degree cruelty against children.

The new details about her death were discussed in a preliminary hearing on Monday.

The GBI previously said the girl suffered "excessive physical pain due to medical negligence", although the autopsy results are not yet complete.

Her mother also told investigators that Kaitlyn hadn't bathed in the week and a half before her death.

When the agents got home in August, the inside was dirty and in poor condition. Bugs covered the mattress, stuffed animals and other furniture in Kaitlyn's room, Hilton said.

John Joseph "Joey" Yozviak

Mary Katherine "Katie" Horton

Her parents Mary Katherine & # 39; Katie & # 39; Horton (right) and Joey Yozviak (left) have been charged with murder. The couple were also charged with second degree cruelty against children

The neighbors told agents they hadn't seen Kaitlyn mess around the house in the month and a half to two months before she died.

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services documents show that Kaitlyn's two brothers were removed from Horton's and Yozviak's homes due to unsanitary conditions.

In 2008, DFCS opened another case when Kaitlyn was born after parents decided not to give her up for adoption.

Ryan Hilton, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that at the time of her death, Kaitlyn had the "worst" lice infestation the GBI office had ever seen, and that it could have lasted at least three years

Ryan Hilton, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified that at the time of her death, Kaitlyn had the "worst" lice infestation the GBI office had ever seen, and that it could have lasted at least three years

Victim Kaitlyn Yozviak with her teacher Courtney Amerson Williams in 2016

Victim Kaitlyn Yozviak with her teacher Courtney Amerson Williams in 2016

The agency didn't get reports of the family until 2018, with files showing a phone call indicating the home was infested with insects, (with) excessive cats and dangerous conditions.

Kaitlyn was briefly housed with her aunt and returned home to her parents six days later.

The agency didn't hear from the family again until after her death. The last entry in the file is heavily edited and relates to a conversation between the GBI and child welfare authorities.

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