Kamero Lee Newton
  - December 10, 2014


When a child dies after being abused, it breaks my heart, it hurts my soul and tears my mind to shreds. I can't wrap my mind around the whole concept of child abuse, what a person feels they have to gain by abusing the smallest, weakest, most dependent and innocent among us. When a child dies after being abused by a person who SHOULD have been in priosn for abusing ANOTHER child, I have no words!

Amada Pavlick was dating a man named Kenneth Reeves and she trusted him to be alone with her three year old son. When Amanda returned, she found her son had bruises all over his body so she took pictures with her cell phone and brought him to UPMC Children's Hospital where it was found that even though Kenneth had told her that the child had fallen, the truth was that he had been abused. This precious, three year old boy had bruises on his face, neck, abdomen, arms, bottom and pelvic area and Doctors said that he had possible internal injuries:

"He had a neck brace on for three days because they thought he had
two broken vertebrae"
Amanda Pavlick

Amanda stayed in the hospital with her son for three days whiles Kenneth had managed to be on the run for about six month. Police asked the little boy who had hurt him and he told them the name he had called Kenneth, "Mommy's best friend". When he was finally arrested, Kenneth spent only 22 days in jail because he was allowed to plea down to child endangerment charges, he was also sentenced to six years of probation and one year of house arrest. Amanda felt betrayed by the fact that Kenneth got away with such a short jail term saying that her son was now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

"The court system failed me. I feel let down"
Amanda Pavlick

Kenneth's sentencing took place in September of 2014 and by the start of December a warrant was issued for Kenneth's arrest, sadly, it was for the attempted homicide of a five month old baby girl:

"I wanted jail and I didn't get it and now look what happened. If he was in
jail, Kamie would still be here and this wouldn't happen to another child"

This little Angel's Aunt said:

"It was devastating just to know that we were right and that he wasn't
on house arrest when he should have been and that this happened to
another child. We requested jail time from the beginning but were told
that it wasn't going to happen, so we had to settle with the six years
probation and one year house arrest"

Kenneth never did get the required ankle bracelet for those who are on house arrest, he ran instead:

"The system failed us, failed my nephew and now because of that, little
Kami and her family. He beat him with a belt, smacked him. He was black
and blue from head to toe. I hope he stays there, in jail, because that's
where he deserves to be and that's where he should have been"
Aunt of the little boy

Kami was placed on life support after it was found that she had been shaken violently, she was declared brain dead and the decision was made to remove her from life support after she was found to be brain dead. Kami's organs were donated so that other children could live, five children received the gift of life from this tragedy.

Kenneth Reeves was 29 years old and was being held on attempted homicide as well as other charges, he had been found and arrested while at a church.

According to family members, Kami had been crying on December 6 after her mother Julie Vojtash had been put to bed and was fine. Checking on Kami, she found Kenneth in her room and when she asked him what was wrong, he said he didn't know. This was not the first time the mother had seen this situation, she had left Kenneth alone with the baby two other times and returned to find her daughter crying, she thought at the time it was because she was teething.

On this particular night, Kami went unconscious without a few minutes and CPR was started by her mother and Uncle while 911 was called. While Kami was taken to the hospital, Kenneth was questioned by the Police and at first gave them a fake name. Police found two bags that were thought to contain Heroin, Kenneth was free to go though he was given a summons to appear in court for the drugs that were found.

A spokesperson for Kami's family said:

"We want to thank the first responders from the city of Pittsburgh, Firefighters,
the Police, the Detectives involved. We want to thank the staff at the Emergency
Room at Children's Hospital and the Nurses and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
We want to send a special thanks to Wes from CORE for being there for my sister
in making a decision to donate organs and just really seeing her through that. And
we want to thank everyone for their outpouring of support and prayers. And this
isn't nearly a conclusion or closure. This is going to be ongoing and really tough on
my sister, but we can't thank everybody enough for everything they've done for us"
Misty Vojtash - Aunt Of Kami

 

Misty said that their family was going to work to raise awareness in honor of Kami and they were calling it Kamero's Heroes. Misty said of the families who received the organs that were donated:

"My prayers are with those families also. I hope you get to hold your
children for Christmas and that they have full, healthy lives"

Kenneth was now facing charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, child endangerment, criminal trespassing and drug possession. Kenneth had broken into the Covenant Church and when he was found and arrested, he had Suboxone, Xanax and other pills with him.

Julie addressed the City Council about the fact that she had not been aware of Kenneth being on probation or that he had assaulted another child in the past:

"I would never want another mother or another family to feel this pain.
Had I been aware, my daughter would be here. My daughter would be
alive, but she isn't and her voice will not be left unheard"

Child abuse prevention advocates said that while the information is available as public record, a registry of the names of people who had previously been convicted of child abuse related crimes would make it much easier for people to know what they were dealing with:

"They can know that a person baby sitting their child, or are in a new relationship
with, they can check their criminal history"
Joan Smith - Child Abuse Prevention Advocate

Julie and Joan were asking the City Council to create a registry like Megan's Law which makes child sexual predators names available to the public, they both agreed that a registry like that would help prevent other children from suffering or dying the way Kami had:

"I am asking you to help me stop this, to help these kids have
a chance. My daughter didn't"
Julie Jojtash




OBITUARY:

NEWTON KAMERO LEE

Treasured daughter of Julie Vojtash and Dale Newton; beloved sister of Anthony Chajkowski and Lily Newton, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

Kamero was a cherished niece, cousin, and granddaughter. Despite her brief 6 months she was able to touch the lives of so many with her smile.

Friends received Friday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the READSHAW FUNERAL HOME, INC., 1503 Brownsville Road, Carrick. Funeral will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family to help with family expenses. Send condolences to: www.readshawfuneralhome.com

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Dec. 11, 2014

Thank you to Jessica for sending me this story.

This page was created on February 11, 2015
Death Occurred in the state of Pennsylvania

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