Name: Calista Springer
Died: February 27, 2008
Age at death: 16
Cause of death: Smoke Inhalation
Location: Centreville, Michigan, USA
Calista was abused at home, and she often asked for help at school. She told friends and teachers that she was chained to her bed at night, beaten, and forced to use a bucket as a toilet. Friends and neighbors tried to help her, giving her food and taking her to get showers. Records show they made 15 complaints on behalf of Calista. Child protective services responded by warning Calista's father and stepmother not to tie her to the bed because it was a fire hazard, but they ignored the warnings and tied her to her bed with zip ties and a dog's choke collar. Calista's father was violent, beating and raping his disabled wife and beating Calista. Calista's birth mother tried to regain custody of her, but that only resulted in her having her parental rights terminated permanently. In the sixth grade, Calista's parents took her out of school and "home-schooled" her, keeping her from making further pleas for help.
Because she was tied to the bed, Calista was the only person in her family who died when the house caught fire. Her two siblings and both parents escaped the house safely; none of them stopped to release her. She could not escape from her restraints and died of smoke inhalation.
CPS workers who failed Calista were not punished.
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