Liam Husted

Photo of a small boy sitting in a swing and smiling broadly at the camera.Name: Liam Husted.
Died: May 28, 2021.
Age at death: 7.
Cause of death: Unspecified homicide.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Details:
Liam loved to swim. He attended a school for autistic children and had a therapist to visit him at home for “behavioral issues”, but these services were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He lived with his mother, who was separated from his father.

Liam’s body was found by hikers. Initially unidentified, he was called “Little Zion” until a family friend recognized his photo as that of Liam, who had gone missing along with his mother. Less than a day later, police found Liam’s mother and arrested her on suspicion of murder.

References:
California woman arrested after special-needs son’s body found in remote Nevada area
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez arrested in special needs 7 yr old son murder
Body Of John ‘Little Zion’ Doe Found Near Las Vegas Identified As Missing San Jose 7-Year-Old; Mother Wanted For Murder
California mom suspected in son’s death arrested after nationwide manhunt
Mother arrested in Denver in connection with San Jose boy’s death near Las Vegas
Mother arrested for death of son found dumped on Las Vegas hike trail
San Jose Mother Suspected of Killing 7-Year-Old Son Arrested in Denver
California mom jailed in Denver following son’s Vegas death

Edwin Arrigo

Name: Edwin Arrigo (also called Edwin Armigo or Erwin Arnigo).
Died: May 23, 2021.
Age at death: 18.
Cause of death: Police shooting.
Location: Valenzuela City, Phillippines.

Details:
Edwin was known in his village as a helpful child who would do anything for anyone without asking for anything in return.

Edwin lived near an illegal cock-fighting ring. He was shot by police, but the story the police tell, and the story his family tells, are different.

The police say he was at the cock-fight, and they shot him because he tried to grab one of their guns. But Edwin’s family says that he was nowhere near the illegal cock-fight, and the police dragged him there so that they could justify having shot him during their break-up of the cock-fighting ring. The family says they have witnesses who can corroborate their story, and who say they saw the police grab Edwin in a bear hug, shoot him at close range, and drag him away.

The police officers involved have been fired. An investigation is underway.

References:
No ‘agawan ng baril:’ Witness claims death of teen in Valenzuela ‘accidental’
NBI to probe death of man with autism killed in Valenzuela police raid
Four Police Officers Relieved After Filipino Teen Shot Dead During Raid
CHR to probe death of ‘autistic’ teenager in police operation in Valenzuela City

Levi Ernest-Morrison

Photo of Levi Ernest-Morrison. He is a dark-skinned teenage boy wearing a dress shirt and vest and a baseball cap, with his arm around someone to the left of the picture.Name: Levi Ernest-Morrison.
Died: April 10, 2021.
Age at death: 17.
Cause of death: Murder (Stabbed).
Location: Sydenham, South East London, England, UK.

Details:
Levi was a quiet, well-mannered boy. Self-conscious due to alopecia (hair loss), he didn’t often go out; but he had befriended a neighbor who had had multiple strokes, and once saved her life with first aid. He didn’t want to put up a tent in the yard because he was afraid of damaging his mother’s plants. He wanted to go to the Caribbean and build a family home there.

Levi had nerve damage in his leg, so he walked with a crutch. His mother thinks that this may have made him look like an “easy target” to his assailants when one of them ran him over with her car and the other stabbed him to death.

References:
Help Murder Victim Levi E.M With Funeral Costs, organized by J F
Police arrest woman, 36, over murder of ‘kind’ disabled boy, 17
Heartbroken mum of Sydenham stabbing victim says disability ‘made him a target’
Heartbroken mum of disabled teen, 17, knifed to death on London street says he was ‘run over then stabbed’ as woman held

Sterling McCain

Photo of a man with brown hair, fair skin, and a full beard. He is wearing glasses and a plaid flannel shirt.Name: Sterling McCain.
Died: April 3, 2021.
Age at death: 24.
Cause of death: Murder (Shooting).
Location: San Angelo, California, USA.

Details:
From Sterling’s obituary:
“Sterling had many interests, but some of his favorite hobbies were fishing and playing the guitar. He was a much more accomplished guitarist than fisherman, but that never discouraged him from trying. He loved Harry Potter and had quite the collection of all things Hogwarts. He also enjoyed grilling outdoors; he always cooked the best steaks.

“Sterling had a very caring and sensitive heart. He rescued virtually every dog he found, always making room for one more. He also loved to surprise Myan with simple little gifts that he always tried to keep a secret, but his sly little grin always gave him away. He loved his family and enjoyed the simple things in life.”

Sterling and his wife were having marital problems, so they decided to go on a drive to discuss things and rekindle their relationship. But things went wrong. At a restaurant, Sterling got drunk and argued with a waitress; on the way home, Sterling became non-verbal and had to communicate through text messages, which got increasingly jumbled as he started reversing his pronouns, calling himself a demon, talking about burning in hell, and talking about killing himself and killing his wife.

On the drive home, Sterling’s wife called a family friend, asking for help. The friend gathered a rifle and a large knife, called the police to report a possible assault, and awaited the couple’s car. Sterling’s wife reports that he pulled her hair and grabbed her by the neck.

When they pulled into the driveway, Sterling exited the car, and his wife locked herself into the car. Sterling went to the house and started banging on the siding; then he went to the door. The friend met him at the door, holding a rifle, which Sterling tried to swat away. The friend shot him multiple times, killing him. Sterling was unarmed at the time. The shooter has been charged with murder.

Sterling, like many autistic adults, found it very difficult to get any support. He had been repeatedly bullied at work. When he had a breakdown and police were called, they did not respond to the call until after he had been shot.

Editor’s note: Autistic people are, of course, neither angels nor demons; we are no more prone to violence than the average person. Sterling’s behavior should not be condoned–but neither did it deserve death, especially since the man who shot him could see Sterling’s wife was safe in the car, knew the police were on their way, and knew Sterling was unarmed. Sterling, having consumed alcohol and in the middle of an autistic meltdown, would very likely have responded well to being left alone and allowed to calm down on his own.

References:
Details: Man with Autism Shot and Killed Saturday
Sterling James McCain Obituary

Jax Ponomarenko

Photo of a small boy standing in the snow, holding the leash to a brown dog.Name: Jax Ponomarenko.
Died: March 25, 2021.
Age at death: 5.
Cause of death: Murder (Beaten with baseball bat).
Location: Parma, Ohio, USA.

Details:
Jax used a tablet to communicate. A relative describes him as “delicate and full of life”. Child and family services had been involved in his case before, and his father had been charged with child endangerment and made to pay a fine.

Shortly after Jax’s father returned from a behavioral health facility, he called 911, saying, “I’ve killed my son,” and claiming he had been hearing voices. He then described how he had beaten the boy to death with a baseball bat.

Neighbors are leaving memorial tributes at Jax’s house.

References:
5-year-old boy killed in Parma, boy’s father arrested, police say
Matthew Ponomarenko beats autistic son, Jax, 5, to death w/ baseball bat
GRAPHIC: ‘I just killed my son after hearing voices,’ Parma, Ohio dad tells 911 dispatcher
Ohio dad admits killing autistic 5-year-old son with baseball bat