Kayla McKean
January 13, 1992 - November 24, 1998
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It saddens my heart to know that we have to have laws named after children who are abused to death, the Kayla McKean Child Protection Act is just one more example of those laws. On July 1, 1999, The Kayla McKean Child Protection Act went into affect and it states that any and all complaints about child abuse MUST be investigated. My question for that law would be, WHY do we need a law to make that happen? Investigating every claim of child abuse should be the automatic response, it's better to check things out and be wrong, than to not check things out and the child is in trouble. Err on the side of the child. ALWAYS!

Kayla was six years old when she was reported missing, by her stepfather. On November 25, 1998, Thanksgiving Day, Richard Adams called 911 and said that his daughter was missing, that she had disappeared from their apartment complex. Police, friends and neighbors came together to do a search for this beautiful, little Angel.

As often happens, it turns out that Child welfare workers could have helped to save the life of a child, however, they missed the signs and Kayla paid the price for their mistakes. In May of 1998, a family friend saw Kayla and thought she was wearing a mask, her face was swollen, one eye was swollen and had liquid oozing out of it and the other was red, her hand was swollen so bad that she had no knuckles. Kayla was taken to the hospital after the friend convinced Richard to take her. Richard told the hospital that Kayla had been riding her bike and had hit a brick wall. When DCF showed up, the friend was thought that they would see what Kayla had been going through and take Kayla away from Richard.

In July of 1998 Kayla was taken to the doctor, at that point, two abuse reports had already been called in and this Doctor called in a third. Kayla was said to be in danger of being abused by her father, the Doctor's call did no good at all. 
Why would social workers who were being told by a Doctor that a child was being abused, not take that seriously?

Kayla had bruises all over her body, a black eye and scratches on her face for which Richard had three different stories. What other red flags do social workers needs to know that a child in trouble? Richard claimed that Kayla had fallen off of her bike, hit her eye on the handlebars and that while he was forcing her to do jumping jacks, she had fallen on the ground and hurt herself. The doctor called DCF saying that Kayla had suffered from blunt force trauma and did NOT fall and hurt herself.

Kayla's mother, Elizabeth McKean had entered a battered women's shelter, leaving Kayla behind, that's when Richard took over raising her. When Lake County Welfare Workers did their investigation, they found Kayla had two black eyes, a broken nose and her left hand was also broken. Richard told the same story, Kayla fell off of her bike. Kayla was placed in a foster home and then in court, a report by the DCF worker only mentioned that two blacks eyes and swelling, leaving out the information about all of her other injuries, the DCF worker recommended that Kayla be returned to Richard and the Judge agreed.

Once again, a child would end up dead due to the people who should be protecting her, ignoring the obvious signs. Richard would confess to beating Kayla and burying her in the woods. Richard slammed Kayla's against a wall and then beat her with a paddle because she had an accident in her underwear. Richard's wife, Marcie Lynne Adams, KNEW that Kayla was dead, even while people searched for her. Marcie has a son, Ricky Jr., with Richard and the two took their son into the forest and buried Kayla. Marcie says she didn't tell anyone what Richard had done because she was in fear for the life of her as well as herself:

"I wish to God almighty that she had the courage to tell someone earlier, before the search went
on and on"
Nina Jewett - Marcie's mother

REALLY? THAT is what you wish? I wish your daughter had mustered up the courage to grab a chair and beat it over Richard's head STOPPING him from beating Kayla to death, or the courage to report him, take Kayla and her son and get out of that situation. An anonymous woman was starting a petition to get harsher charges filed against Marcie. Marcie knew that Kayla was dead, even so, at one point, she suggested to a television crew that Elizabeth took her:

"Her mom, she's got to have her. She wouldn't have just wandered off"

Nina Jewett said that while she seemed calm on the outside, Marcie was broken inside, not able to eat or sleep while Richard would get upset if someone came by and interrupted him while he was eating. Guess what Nina, Kayla isn't able to eat either and she is asleep forever and your daughter is part of the reason why.

It was reported that Richard threatened Marcie and their son the entire time, never leaving them out of his site and he never allowed Marcie to be alone with Ricky. Nina said that she knew early on that something was not right with the relationship between Richard and Marcie:

"I told him once that the worst da in my daughter's life was the day she met him"

Nina said that Marcie had been star struck by Richard and that he seemed like a decent person, making a good first
impression adding that Marcie, who had grown up in a good, loving home, felt sorry for Richard who was getting kicked out of his home on a regular basis. Nina said that Richard is violent person, the kind who if he bumps his knee, he will put his fist through a wall. After his arrest, Richard tried to blame social workers saying they didn't help him manger his anger better. While they are partly to blame for ignoring the obvious signs, Richard needs to step up and own what he did.

Marcie was charged with obstruction of justice, which is a misdemeanor charge and Elizabeth McKean thought that this was not a harsh enough charge. Elizabeth couldn't understand how Marcie could stand by and watch as a child was beat to death. Marcie Adams, who was 22 years old at the time, posted a $500. bond and walked out of the jail.

Richard Lee Adams, who was 24 years old at the time, was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated child abuse.
On March 29, 2000, Richard was convicted of the murder of Kayla. Richard was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The lead investigator said of Kayla:

"I don't think her last day on Earth were pleasurable"

With Kayla's father behind bars, you would think that finally she could rest in peace. Not true in this case, Elizabeth and her father are suing the one person who seemed to care about Kayla, Lonnie Stooksbury. Lonnie is the family friend who did all he could in order to help Kayla, when he talked Richard into taking her to the hospital. Along with Lonnie, others ae being sued, The Department Of Children Families and several of the caseworkers as well as supervisors, also named in the lawsuit were Richard's parents . In their lawsuit, they claim that there was a failure to protect Kayla, this is true of DCF, but not of Lonnie who at one point wanted to take custody of Kayla to protect her from Richard. Reports said that lawyers will sue just about anyone in civil cases, hoping for an insurance pay out, that is disgusting to me!

Elizabeth knew that Richard was violent when Kayla was left with him and Elizabeth had three more children, by three different men and when one of those men started beating her, she left him and gave him custody of the child she had with him. Elizabeth didn't KEEP or RAISE any of her children, the other two children were given up for adoption. Why should Elizabeth be entitled to ANY money when children are disposable to her? Elizabeth should be sterilized to prevent any other children being born to her. In Kayla's case Elizabeth says that she is not to blame because she had left Kayla with Richard's parents and they let him have her. Giving Kayla to his parents was a sure way for him to end up with Custody of her.

In January of 2002, State welfare workers wanted to be removed from the lawsuit and not be held responsible if Elizabeth and her father, Joseph actually won their case. Some of the DCF workers had been fired by then because they had missed the red flags in Kayla's case. Lonnie was dropped from the case The lawsuit was at first in the state court and then moved to Federal Courts since it was claiming violations of the 1983 Civil Rights Act, the case was eventually moved back to the State Court.

Welfare workers had failed to protect her and according to the suit, saying that Kayla had a right to be free from the infliction of unnecessary pain under the 5th and 15th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and that she had a right to physical safely under the 14th Amendment. The defendants said that there were no constitutional rights of that nature, under the circumstances and that they were immune to prosecution because they had the right to use their discretionary authority while performing their jobs.

This page was created on May 10, 2013
Death Occurred in the state of Florida

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