After 'Sweet' Georgia Girl's Death, Parents Face Charges and Grandmother Says She Fought for Custody
Authorities say Kaitlyn Yozviak was subjected to "excessive physical pain due to medical negligence" before she died.
A Georgia 12-year-old girl is dead and her parents have been charged with murder.
Authorities were called to the home of 12-year-old Kaitlyn Yosviak on August 26. Her mother told the 911 dispatcher that she was unresponsive. Paramedics rushed her to nearby Navicent Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Kaitlyn was subjected to "excessive physical pain due to medical negligence" before she died. In an interview with NBC News, GBI Special Agent Mary Chandler said the family had been investigated multiple times for alleged child neglect.
"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 told the station. "This condition of a child is the worst we've ever seen."
Authorities have arrested Kaitlin's parents, John Joseph Yozviak and Katie Horton. Both parents face a count each of murder in the second degree and cruelty to children in the second degree.
It was not immediately clear if either had entered a plea or retained an attorney.
The news of Kaitlyn's death has devastated her teachers at Clifton Ridge Middle School in Ivey, Georgia. "She was a very sweet, sweet girl," teacher Lelin Holt told WMAZ-TV. "Always respectful, I've never had any issues out of her at all."
"I never saw anything that was super-off, anything to report," Holt added. "If I did, I would've definitely reported."
In a statement to WMAZ, Kaitlyn's maternal grandmother expressed sorrow at her granddaughter's death, and said she had wanted custody of the girl. She assailed authorities for not doing more to take care of Kaitlyn.
"Had the system done their job and rescued Kaitlyn, I would have raised her." Anna Horton said in the statement, before saying that her parents "deserved" to be arrested.
No date has been set for Kaitlyn's funeral, but WMAZ reports that a funeral home in nearby Macon will pay for the service.