Casey Collier

Name: Casey Collier
Died: December 21, 1993
Age at death: 17
Cause of death: Suffocation during restraint
Location: Devereux, Colorado, USA

Casey had a long history of mental problems; autism was only one of the many diagnoses he had received. He was born to abusive parents, but rescued and adopted at eighteen months. By then he already had physical and mental scars. His impulse-control problems surfaced in preschool; at twelve, he was hospitalized for the first time, for three weeks. Counselors described him as childish, stubborn, but endearing and easy to like. Several placements resulted in abuse. His adoptive parents sent him to a faculty which was supposed to help him. Instead, it killed him.

When Casey became upset, two staff grabbed him, intending to take him to an isolation room. Casey struggled, and four more staff piled on top of him, putting him in a restraint that compressed his chest–made worse because of Casey's asthma, a condition that staff knew about. They did not let go until Casey stopped struggling. But Casey stopped struggling because he was dead–facedown in a pool of his own vomit.

His grieving parents pursued justice for their son, but no one was ever prosecuted for Casey's death.

Wild at Heart
Newspaper archive

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