A 12-year-old girl died in agony after years of being bitten by lice triggered a fatal heart attack, officials believe.
Tragic Kaitlyn Yozviak died last month, and now her parents face murder charges over the shocking neglect.
According to investigators, her death was caused by cardiac arrest as a result of severe anaemia – which was likely caused by repeated bites.
Parents Joey Yozviak, 38, and Mary Katherine ‘Katie’ Horton, 37, have been arrested after investigators ruled Kaitlyn had experienced ‘”excessive physical pain due to medical negligence”.
Special Agent Ryan Hilton, from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told WMAZ-TV he discovered “the most severe” lice infestation his office had ever uncovered.
The youngster had not bathed for a week before she was killed and was forced to live in a filthy room with vermin swarming over her mattress, stuffed animals and furniture.
According to reports in the US, Kaitlyn had not been bathed for a week and was living in a filthy room surrounded with vermin.
She had not gone to school since February, police said.
Authorities were called to reports of an unresponsive child on August 27.
Ivey Police Chief Untimothy Roby told reporters: “I was mind-blown when I saw her laying there, so that took a lot out of me knowing the child was unresponsive.”
It is alleged that Kaitlyn had been put for adoption after her birth in 2008, but the mum and dad changed their mind at the last moment.
Michele Creamer, who had been due to adopt the infant, told First Coast News: “They felt like they couldn’t provide for her.”
But on the day she was supposed to collect Kaitlyn and take her home, Horton told her she’d changed her mind.
Michele said: “She looked to me that day and said, ‘This baby is supposed to be yours.
“This baby’s supposed to be yours. I don’t want this baby, but I feel like I have to.”
The little girl’s older brothers had previously been removed from the home because of the horrific conditions, ABC13 reports.
Both parents have been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child cruelty.