Five members of an Iowa family were arrested after a teenage girl under their care starved to death even as her adoptive parents enjoyed a trip to Disney World. According to a CBS News report, the teen identified as 15-year-old Sabrina Ray was found dead earlier this month on May 12. She weighed just 56 pounds when she was discovered living in horrible conditions at the family home. A report by the Des Moines Register revealed that all five members of the extended family regularly tortured Sabrina and confined her for extended periods of time. Days before her death, her own 21-year-old adoptive elder brother reportedly drop kicked her down the basement stairs and kicked her on the face, resulting to horrific injuries.
In the last days of her life, Sabrina starved to death, unable to walk, talk, or eat even as her adoptive parents enjoyed a trip to Disney World. The five family members arrested in connection with the case include Sabrina’s adoptive parents, 41-year-old Marc Ray and 40-year-old Misty Ray; Misty Ray’s mother (Sabrina’s adoptive grandmother), 62-year-old Carla Bousman; Sabrina’s adoptive brother, 21-year-old Justin Dale Ray; and Sabrina’s cousin, 20-year-old Josie Raye Bousman. All five have been charged with kidnapping, child endangerment resulting in death, and child neglect. Ironically, the family ran a daycare center out of their home called Rays of Sunshine and took in foster children.
The true extent of the kind of torture that was inflicted on Sabrina was revealed by 19-year-old Marco Mendez who was placed in Marc and Misty Ray’s foster home four years ago. According to Marco, Sabrina, who he described as a sweet girl, endured “intense physical abuse” at the hands of the people that were supposed to look after her. According to him Sabrina was regularly denied food and was made to do all kinds of household chores. At times, a desperately hungry Sabrina would eat out of the garbage which contained food that was disposed over a week ago.
“Sabrina was really sweet. She would take the trash out. She would be so hungry that she would eat out of the garbage. Like old food. Trash (that) has probably been there like a week.”
According to Mendez, who was allowed to eat in the home, he also reported about the torture inflicted on Sabrina to the Iowa Department of Human Services. However, the family seems to always get a whiff of when a DHS worker would arrive for inspection and would ensure that Sabrina was eating when they showed up.
“They would always make sure they were eating at the time when the DHS worker was showing up there, but they never had a spot at the table or anything,” Mendez said.
Meanwhile, court documents reveal that Sabrina Ray’s grandmother Carla Rae Bousman, 62, was also complicit in the crime and is accused of confining Sabrina and two other kids who were also under foster care. Misty Ray’s niece, Josie Bousman, has also been arrested for abetment and aiding in the torture of Sabrina, eventually causing her death. Apart from allegedly drop kicking Sabrina just days before she died, her adoptive brother Justin also reportedly hit her on the chin a few days earlier, leaving her bruised. In an interaction with the media, Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn confirmed that the incident is still being investigated while adding that he believes that all the main people behind Sabrina’s death are now behind bars.
Sabrina was separated from her biological siblings when she was 10. She was described as a “shy and small girl with dimples and dark brown hair.” Sabrina had an older half sister and four brothers. Her oldest sister, who is now 27, also grew up under foster care. Her oldest brother was taken in by Sabrina’s biological grandparents.
After the horrific crime had come to light, residents held a vigil in her memory. The vigil involved more than 100 community members and was held at the First Christian Church in Perry.
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