Name: Heaven Woods
Died: May 20, 2014
Age at death: 5
Cause of death: Fatal child abuse
Location: Forsyth, Georgia, USA
Heaven Woods’s abusive mother had a history of explaining away the injuries the little girl always seemed to have. She had fallen on a coffee table; she was clumsy. When little Heaven had hand-shaped bruises on her throat, her mother claimed that Heaven was autistic, and would try to choke herself.
Heaven did have ADHD, but whether she was autistic or not can’t be told from the news stories. She may have been; or perhaps her mother used autism as yet another lie to ward off suspicion about her own actions and that of her live-in boyfriend.
Whatever Heaven’s mother said, it seems to have worked, because child protective services withdrew their abuse investigation. Three weeks later, Heaven was dead. She had died of blunt-force trauma to her abdomen, and her body showed all the signs of battered child syndrome.
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Candlelight vigil to remember Heaven Woods