Nicole Hall

Photo: Young girl with brown skin and pink glasses, smiling for the camera, eyes squeezed shut in laughter.Name: Nicole “Amari” Hall.
Died: November 23, 2021.
Age at death: 8.
Cause of death: Homicide (Unspecified).
Location: Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA.

Amari went missing from a hotel where her family had been staying. Several days later, she was found dead in the woods fifteen miles away, the victim of a homicide. Police who questioned her mother and her mother’s partner say their statements were inconsistent and untruthful; the two were arrested on suspicion of having caused Amari’s death.

Amari’s siblings, age 5 and 6, were removed from the home. Her mother was charged with child cruelty, concealing a death, and making a false police report; her mother’s partner was charged with murder and child cruelty.

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Andrew Sorensen

Photo of a young man in a graduation gown and mortarboard. He has fair skin brown hair, and a neat chinstrap beard and small mustache.Name: Andrew Sorensen.
Died: October 22, 2021.
Age at death: 19.
Cause of death: Homicide (Beaten, stabbed).
Location: Spokane, Washington, USA.

Andrew, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was adopted by his family as a 6-month-old baby. As he grew from a happy baby into a sweet child, therapy helped him improve his motor skills; but his parents noticed that he couldn’t stand haircuts, loud noises, or the sound of toast being buttered, and had a hard time figuring out what people expected him to do in social situations. So, in childhood, he was also diagnosed with autism.

In his teen years, Andrew began having mental health problems, and occasionally had to go to the hospital. But he was still as loving has he had been as a child, often bringing home homeless teenagers and sharing what he had with them. His mother would help the teens get their GEDs and get food stamps and Medicaid. Andrew himself graduated from an online high school.

However, in the last year of his life, Andrew’s mental health grew worse and he began to self-medicate with hard drugs.

Andrew’s girlfriend, a 19-year-old girl whom he had helped when she was homeless, and who had recently won a $20,000 settlement after a car accident, took him and a group of other teens to Seattle to spend the money; but they were stranded there when the car was stolen. Andrew, who didn’t have a driver’s license, had to call his uncle to bring him home.

Andrew’s girlfriend called her own parents, was brought home, and was involuntarily admitted to the hospital. A sexual assault kit was ordered, but never done. While hospitalized, the girlfriend made death threats against Andrew and against her own parents, and the police was called, though nobody was charged with a crime.

Soon after he returned from the trip to Seattle, Andrew’s girlfriend’s father allegedly ambushed him, put him in the trunk of his fiancee’s car, stabbed him multiple times, and abandoned the car. Andrew’s body wasn’t found until a year later.

When Andrew’s body was found, his girlfriend’s father claimed that he had killed Andrew because Andrew had been “sex-trafficking” his daughter. However, Andrew’s family believes that the alleged killer was angry because Andrew had helped spend his daughter’s settlement money, which he apparently had plans for.

Editorial comments on this case can be found at this link.

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Dustin Paradis

Photo of a young man sitting in a recliner. He has short brown hair, fair skin, and a scruffy beard. He is wearing glasses and a gray T-shirt. He is holding a sleeping brown dog with short floppy ears.Name: Dustin Paradis.
Died: October 13, 2021.
Age at death: 34.
Cause of death: Police shooting.
Location: Augusta, Maine, USA.

Dustin lived at a homeless shelter when he had a fight with another resident. Staff called the police, who fatally shot Dustin. The other resident was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say Dustin was holding a knife, but Dustin’s family and neighbors say they should have tried to defuse the incident without killing Dustin. “He needed help,” a neighbor says, “…but nobody was helping him.”

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Sarah Curran

Photo of a young woman with short dark-blonde hair.Name: Sarah Curran.
Died: July 23, 2020.
Age at death: 22.
Cause of death: Choked, drowned, and bludgeoned.
Location: Winchester, Virginia, USA.

At ten years old, Sarah gave out Pop-Tarts to people waiting at a local bus stop. As a teen, she was a Special Olympics swimmer, bowler, and roller-skater and rode on a float in the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. She volunteered at a local food and clothing pantry. She loved animals, so she volunteered at the animal shelter. As an adult, she used to spend her Social Security check on buying people steak dinners at a restaurant.

When she moved out, her family worried that she would be taken advantage of because of her kind and trusting nature. She had strong political opinions, backing the Affordable Care Act on social media.

Sarah was living in a homeless encampment when she died. Her ex-boyfriend killed her by choking, drowning, stabbing, and bludgeoning. They had recently broken up.

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Kevin Moore

Photo: A middle-aged man with fair skin and graying hair, sitting at a computer. He is wearing a faded T-shirt and square-rimmed glasses. He is smiling.Name: Kevin Hugh Moore.
Died: January 23, 2019.
Age at death: 55.
Cause of death: Traumatic injury.
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.

Kevin was a talented musician and composer who attended Winston-Salem’s UNC School of the Arts. In high school, he conducted Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” entirely from memory, without ever looking at the music. He didn’t graduate from high school; instead, he got a GED and went on to study computer programming at a technical college.

He played oboe and English horn professionally in several major orchestras in Virginia and North and South Carolina. He started a publishing company and arranged custom orchestral pieces for ballet companies and orchestras. He also invented a new kind of shaper for oboe and English horn reeds.

He was blunt and honest, always saying exactly what he thought, a trait that caused some people to dislike him, while others found it refreshing to always know where they stood with him. He had a wry sense of humor.

Kevin’s life was not trouble-free, though; he struggled with anxiety and depression and spent some time homeless before being placed in an apartment by social services.

Kevin and another man, Lewis Franklin Humphrey, were found stabbed to death in Kevin’s apartment. Police arrested five suspects and charged four, but Kevin’s family still doesn’t know why Kevin was killed. They know Kevin met them at a soup kitchen for the homeless and had invited them over to share his apartment. Perhaps they saw Kevin as an easy target; or perhaps it was because he was gay. The investigation is ongoing, and the family still searching for answers.

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