Isaac Alan Brothers-Bartholomew
May 12, 2011 - November 6, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial

James Brothers and Adrienne Bartholomew had seven children living with them when in November of 2012, one of those children died. Isaac was only 18 months old when he was found dead in his home, he died of malnutrition due to child neglect. Erie County and Cuyahoga County Job And Family Services had been involved in the lives of this family for many years before they moved to Vermillion Township and before the horrible death of this little Angel. Six children were removed from the home after Isaac died, one of those children, a six year old boy, weighed only 23 pounds and four others who had to be treated at Children's Hospital for malnutrition and they were all placed in protective custody.

Cuyahoga County Job And Family Services was called in July of 2005 by a hospital and they were informed that the family had not shown up for follow up appointments for the children:

"These parents avoided outside services and support"
Mary Louise Madicgant - Spokeswoman for JFS

In January of 2007 another call was made to report that the children in the home were being neglected and were not being taken to scheduled Doctor appointments. A court order had to be obtained for protective supervision so that the parents would cooperate with JFS. In this case protective supervision meant that there was concern about the health and welfare of the children in the home and workers would visit the home and offer assistant from other agencies as well as their own. For whatever reason, this case was closed in March of 2007. In July of 2007 James contacted JFs to let them know that the family was moving to Erie County and their case was transferred to the Erie County agency later that same year:

"Cuyahoga County Job And Family Services confirmed there had been issues or
concerns about medical neglect"
Karen Balconi Ghezzi - Director Erie County JFS

Once again, there were concerns that the parents were not bringing the children for scheduled appointments. Erie County decided to continue supervision of this family:

"We did visits and determined it would be admissible for protective
supervision to continue"
Karen Balconi Ghezzi

It was only a short year later that the JFS agency decided that the family had been compliant and they had met all of the conditions required and their case was closed in the year 2009:

"From that point on, we haven't had contact until the sheriff recently contacted us"
Karen Balconi Ghezzi

There were other agencies still involved the lives of the children at the time that JFS dropped their supervision. Karen said that if there had been any signs of malnutrition during their supervision, they would have noticed:

"At that point, if there was any concern about malnutrition, the protective supervision
would not have been suspended"

A Judge granted emergency, temporary custody of the remaining children to JFS after determining that they were all in danger. The two oldest children, a boy and a girl, were immediately placed in foster care and while the other four children were also placed in foster care, they eventually ended up in the hospital after their health continued to fail. The Judge in the case was trying to decide if custody would remain with JFS and they would get legal custody of the children. JFS was working with the Sheriff's office in the investigation.

All of the seven children living in the home were being home schooled and their parents were both unemployed, it was not readily available where the family was getting the money they lived off of, though speculation was that they were receiving benefits from the government. Five of the children were said to suffer from severe physical and mental handicaps that required 24 hour card. Isaac suffered from severe acid reflux, gastrointestinal issues and heart murmurs and he was given Zantac syrup and he required a feeding tube.

Adrienne claims that she put Isaac down for a nap about 5:00  p.m. on November 6th and then she and her husband fell asleep in the living room. At some point, their 11 year old son woke them up to say that Isaac was not responding to him. James went to tend to Isaac while Adrienne called 911:

"My infant son is dead. He's as stiff and a board, he's got medical issues.
He's a disabled baby, Please God help"
Adrienne's 911 call

First responders found Isaac was already dead and the home was in bad shape with four brigs in a bedroom that also had a bed/playpen in which Isaac was said to sleep. Around the home were medical and supplies for babies and an IV pole with two electronic pumps, still holding an empty IV bag.

James and Adrienne were arrested and a grand jury indicted them on five counts of child endangering, five counts of patient endangering and two counts of involuntary manslaughter, bail was set at $280,000. each and  Denise Demmitt, their lawyer, asked for a lower bond saying they were low flight risks since they had lived in that town for six years. Denise was asking for the couple to be placed on house arrest:

"Maintaining the family home is essential to sustaining the needs of this large,
special needs family"

Uhhhh, call me stupid but, Denise, they lived in that home and they were NOT maintaining it before they allowed their children to suffer and one of them to die, why would it be essential for them to get out, none of their children would have been with them, thank God.

Deborah Nelson, the 62 year old grandmother of the children was also arrested on the same charges and held on $380,000. bond and she hired Thomas Dusza as her lawyer.

James Brothers was 33 years old and Adrienne Bartholomew was 35 when the both plead guilty to charges of child endangerment and patient endangerment after involuntary manslaughter and a few other charges were dismissed. Sadly, the main health care provider, Deborah Nelson who was 61 years old and also the grandmother of the children, plead guilty to failing to provide for  an impaired person and other charges against her were dropped. All of the adults in this case would be sentenced in November of 2013.

Disgustingly, James received a short sentence of only six years while Adrienne received even less time, only three years and Deborah received only two years for what they did to Isaac and his siblings.

In May of 2014, the Ohio Department Of Job And Family Services released a copy of their review of the family and it was an admission of the fact that the Department had not comply with Ohio laws when they were dealing with the family. Of course the review was said to have brought about changes to their policies and they created a screening position that would have the responsibility of being in charge of reports of abuse and neglect.

Sadly, in January of 2015, Xavier Brothers-Bartholomew was ten years old when he died in his foster home. Xavier had a full cardiac arrest which stopped his heart. An autopsy was being done, but Police did not suspect any foul play:

"There has been no indication that his death involved any concerns of abuse or neglect.
He was in a medically fragile state. He has received really outstanding care since we got
custody of him in 2012. It's rare we have children who die in foster homes, but he was non-
verbal and in a wheelchair. He didn't have any muscle tone. He was very much handicapped"
Karen Balconi Ghezzi

I am unable to find an obituary for Xavier at this time.


Isaac Alan Brothers-Bartholomew

VERMILION - Isaac Alan Brothers-Bartholomew, 18 months old, of Vermilion, died Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at his home.

Isaac was born May 12, 2011 in Fairview, OH to the parents of James Brothers and Adrienne Bartholomew.

Isaac is survived by his brothers, Gavin, Xavier, Liam, Marcus, and Kaleb Brothers-Bartholomew; sister, Nephenee Brothers-Bartholomew; paternal grandmother, Debbie Nelson of Vermilion; and maternal grandmother, Sharon Bartholomew.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, David Bartholomew.

The family will receive friends on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 10:30 am until the time of the service at 11:30 am at the Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South Street Vermilion Ohio. Interment will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery, Vermilion.

Online condolences may be made at

Thank you goes out to Leila for sending me the story of Isaac's brother, Xavier,  which lead me to adding Isaac's story.

This page was created on January 7, 2015
Death occurred in the state of Ohio

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