Name: Kristopher Crain, a.k.a. “K. C.”
Died: March 30, 2011
Age at death: 22
Cause of death: Malnutrition, abuse, pneumonia
Location: Niskayuna, Schenectady County, New York, USA
Kristopher lived in Houston with his family for the first nine years of his life. His infancy was difficult; he had fifteen surgeries during the first two years of his life, but he survived to enter school, first at a local school for the disabled in Houston, then in Syracuse when his family moved there. Kristopher was eventually enrolled in Heartspring, a school in Kansas where he learned how to gesture, use sign language, and follow simple instructions.
Kristopher’s mother describes him as “playful, mischievous, and hungry for attention”. He liked puzzles as a child.
But when Kristopher turned 21, Heartspring could no longer keep him because he had become an adult and they served only children. So he was moved to a developmental center in New York–the same center where Jonathan Carey had died in 2007.
At the center, Kristopher was beaten repeatedly, starved, and insulted. He would spend entire days on a gym mat with nothing to do, and hit with a stick if he tried to leave the mat. The first time his parents visited, Kristopher repeatedly got up to get his shoes.
The abuse took its toll on Kristopher’s body. Weakened by malnutrition and beatings, Kristopher was eventually found unconscious and hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia. He died a month later.
Kristopher’s parents sued the facility, which has now been closed, and settled the lawsuit for $2.25 million. The workers involved in Kristopher’s abuse are still working with the disabled.