1990, a family
member of Theresa Tyler called the Aiken County
Department Of Social
Services to help because there was no electricity in the home. Ruby
and Louise Blount showed up at their home and found Krystal
her half brother, Debarge Staley, were sick with colds and their mother
flu. Rather than help them, the women took action to remove the
objected to her children
being taken from them and so did Jessie Scurry, Krystal's father who
I ain`t giving my kids to nobody"
them that if
they didn't cooperate, the police would be called. The children were
in their report, they said the trailer was cold, smelled of urine
that had gone bad and they had tried to contact Police who were
unavailable at that
time. The two children had never had shots nor had they been
seen by a doctor,
since their births. Krystal, who was 11 months old and Debarge, who was
three years old, were placed in the foster home of Clarissa Bell
year, the children
saw their parents rarely and their social worker was also scarce.
would say that the department did little to help reunite them with
and the department would claim that the their parents had made
to see them.
children were in
her care, Debarge said that Clarissa shook him violently,
slapped him, yanked
on him, forced food into his mouth and made him sleep on the
said that worse was done to his sister. Stacy Brown, another
who was 19 years old and one of the six foster children who
backed Debarge up on his claims:
when Krystal wouldn't eat. Sometimes she'd
do it until
would vomit. It was bad; she was so tiny"
prove to be
the worst thing that Clarissa was doing.
coordinator with the support group, Babynet, said that the signs of
obvious. Krystal was 22 months old and at that time she was just
to walk and she couldn't talk very well. One of her arms hung down by
and she wouldn't allow anyone to touch it in order to check
it. A knot
could be seen on her forehead. Mary reported what she had seen to the
Of Social Services on more than one occasion.
state that five different names were given to her for social workers.
None of them
knew anything about Krystal at all and they all would say:
not my case. It's
not my case"
did get a hold of the real caseworker, he said he had just took over
case and didn't know much about it.
15, 1991, Clarissa
took Krystal, Debarge and two other children to the Aiken Community
A hospital social worker made a report that said Clarissa had
one of the children on the buttocks, grabbed one of the children by
and Clarissa had left without anyone having treated Krystal. Clarissa
Krystal to the Medical College Of Georgia where Dr. Rebecca Jean Atha
her and kept her there for almost two weeks. Dr. Atha would later
she kept her there because she was afraid to send
her back to the
a two year and had a paralysis on her right side that could not be
and she had a broken arm. She was suffering from two healing leg
Dr. Atha said that she had called the Department several times and
to Bill Perkins, the caseworker:
him that I was
very afraid for this child, that I did
go back to this foster home"
that Bill told
her he understood what she was saying and that he was going to take
for Krystal. Bill was going to put her into the best foster
home he knew
of, that would be the home of Clarissa, which was where Krystal had
injured in the first place.
John Bell, who was 44 at that time, moved into the home with them.
He was a
transient and and ex-convict. Debarge told the people at DSS
that he didn't
like John, that John had kicked him in his belly, hit him with a
belt and also
hit him in the head with a hammer. Debarge also told them that
John had kicked
Krystal and two of the other children living in the house and
had known about it.
took Krystal and left the home in the car. Four days later,
and bruised body was found in the woods outside of Aiken. Workers
gathering pine straw for bailing, found her. John Bell admitted
that he had
been smoking crack cocaine on the day of her murder. He was
and sentenced to 30 years for the rape and killing of Krystal. What
death, the extent
of the injuries that Krystal had suffered at the hands of Clarissa were
finally out in the open. In November of 1993, Clarissa was arrested and
multiple offenses including assault and battery as well as physical
neglect. The postmortem x-rays revealed that she had fractures to
shoulder, both of her knees and her right pubic bone. By the time she
Krystal was partially paralyzed and she could no longer walk at
Morgan, a Solicitor
of Aiken said that she didn't know how to describe the foster home
to say it was a hellhole where a child was tortured for over 20
months and had
almost every major joint in her body, broken. The DSS workers who took
these children from their mother, simply because they had colds, placed
the foster parent and then either didn't notice that the children were
or they did notice and they chose to ignore it and refused to
1993, the two
caseworkers who had removed the children, Ruby
Ruby, who was the supervisor of the county child
unit, was charged with illegally using DSS control over the children
she removed them. Also among her charges was her failure to investigate
allegations against the parents of the children, ill treatment of a
failure to perform her state mandated child protective duties.
supervisor of the
county treatment unit, was charged with illegally removing the
forcing the parents to voluntarily place the children in the custody of
two caseworkers were also charged with illegally taking $50. from
father. The money was given to pay for the medical care of the
two women used for themselves instead.
women did to this family, they were suspended with pay, in
1993. Their suspensions were to remain in affect until the outcome
proceedings. They enjoyed their paid vacations until they returned
back to work
in May of 1994. The charges were still pending against them.
They both worked
desk jobs until in February of 1995, they were
both let go
due to falsifying
the records in the case. They had reported that
snowing and that
the house was cold due to a lack of heat. It was later learned
that it had
actually been warm outside that day.
most responsible for Krystal's tragic death would be suspended, with
in December of 1993 pending the outcome of the proceedings. Ruby
and Louise Blount would enjoy their paid vacation until the Department
would call them back to work in May of 1994, with the charges still
against them in court. In all, six social workers, that included the
of foster care, would be charged in connection with the death of
charges included ethics violations, falsification of
neglect of duties.
whole system killed
Krystal. If they hadn't took her from me, she'd still be with me
know she'd be safe when she was with me, and I wouldn't let nobody harm
with the Aiken
County Department Of Social Services was settled and Krystal's
$467,000., not nearly enough to compensate for what they lost. Between
February 1991 and January of 1992, there were five foster
in South Carolina.
bates was charged
with assault and battery of a high, medical neglect for
failing to get
medical attention from May of 1990 to November of 1990, for
a doctor told her to. Physical neglect charges from February 1991 to
1991 and failure to provide nutrition. Records show that Krystal's
went up and down and right before her death, she only weight 22
pounds 3 ounces.
against the Social
Workers, other than Ruby and Louise included:
Wilson, who supervised
the caseworkers in charge of Krystal, unlawful
neglect, 23 counts
of embezzling funds set aside for 13 foster care children. Reports
Cassie took over $9,000., spending about $6,000. for her own
Moore, the former
director of foster care was charged with ill treat- ment and unlawful
of a child and failure to report child abuse.
Graham and William
Perkins were also charged. William had been the caseworker
who was called
by the Dr. at the hospital and ignored her warnings
and placed Krystal
back in the foster home.
seems to stop here.
Repeated attempts made by me, to find out what the final
to find out what people were prosecuted for and what sentences
down, have been unsuccessful. This case seems to have dropped
Today is June 15, 2014 and while searching for updates on Krystal's
story, I have not found any new information.
Death Occurred in the state of South
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