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"
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
about medical neglect"
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
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"
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
"At that point, if
there was any concern about malnutrition, the protective supervision
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.
disabled baby, Please God help"
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
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,
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.
in a medically fragile state. He has received really outstanding care
since we got
of him in 2012. It's rare we have children who die in foster homes, but
he was non-
and in a wheelchair. He didn't have any muscle tone. He was very much
I am unable to find an
obituary for Xavier at this time.