Shane Graham

Name: Shane "Moo" Graham
Died: July 2000
Age at death: About 10
Cause of death: Unknown. Missing; presumed dead
Location: Florida, USA

When Shane's 18-year-old sister was discovered abandoned in a parking lot, she told police that she and her ten siblings, including Shane, had all been adopted, then neglected and abused, by a mother who just wanted them for the money she could get for caring for them. All eleven children had special needs.

Police found Shane's siblings–eight still with their mother and one, who had been abandoned earlier, living on his own. All were suffering from lack of education, social isolation, and abuse. They were malnourished, living in constant fear, and had scars from being restrained with cable ties. They had never been to school or seen a doctor. And they told police that, some time in 1999 or 2000, Shane had been very sick, and then had died.

Adoption records showed that Shane had Down syndrome, autism, and sickle-cell anemia. He was called "Moo" because that was the only sound he could make. The last time anyone saw Shane, his adoptive mother had taken him from a babysitter's apartment in July of 2000, and returned shortly thereafter without him. His siblings remember that she had wrapped him in a blanket or put him into a plastic tub and said she was taking him to the hospital or to a doctor. Then she left, and they never saw Shane again.

A tip came in, vague but from a reliable source, that Shane's mother might have buried him in the yard nearly ten years ago. Shane's mother had moved her captives regularly to avoid investigation, so police tried to find Shane's body by using radar and cadaver dogs to search several backyards. They never found a trace of Shane, who is still missing and presumed dead.

Shane's mother was charged with fraud and abuse and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. She refuses to tell anyone what happened to Shane.

Shane's siblings are all adults now. Some are on their own; others are living in group homes. They are still recovering from their hellish childhoods.

Shane Graham and 10 Siblings
Children adopted by Judith Leekin

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