Deetrick Brown

Photo of a TV screen. On the screen is a small African-American boy with a solemn expression on his face.Name: Deetrick Brown.
Died: January 16, 2003.
Age at death: 2.
Cause of death: Fatal abuse.
Location: La Quinta, California, USA.

Deetrick died of abusive head trauma that caused repeated seizures in the months before his death. His parents argued that, rather than being abused, Deetrick was a “drug baby” who had an intellectual disability, epilepsy, and autism, and that it was this that had caused his death.

When Deetrick died, a judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence for the case to go to trial. But ten years later, the case was re-opened and reexamined, and his father and stepmother were arrested.

It is unlikely that Deetrick was autistic; rather, his disability was the result of his parents’ mistreatment. However, because his parents used autism as a way to cover for murder, his story is included here.

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