8-year-old starved, tied up, killed; father, stepmom charged with murder | Inquirer News

8-year-old starved, tied up, killed; father, stepmom charged with murder

/ 07:15 PM August 20, 2020

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An 8-year-old girl was allegedly starved and denied medication, among other things, and was eventually killed by her own father and stepmother in Minnesota in the United States.

Autumn Hallow was found dead by police officers in her own home earlier last week, as per CBS-owned WCCO on Aug. 15.


One Sabrina McWilliam, who lives at the same apartment complex as Hallow, told the television station that she “wasn’t surprised” that it happened to the poor girl as she often overheard verbal abuse coming from the girl’s family’s apartment unit.


“You can sit out here any time of the day and hear both of them screaming at these kids, cussing at them,” she said in the interview.

Prior to the girl’s death, McWilliam noted that she had called the police several times to report such incidents.

According to the murder charge sheet, Hallow, who weighed just 45 pounds at the time of her death, was being punished through starvation and was tied up and placed in a sleeping bag, as per The Star Tribune on Aug. 17.

Her father, Brett Hallow, 30, and stepmother, Sarah Hallow, 28, are now facing second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter charges. They were jailed without bail a day after police found Hallow’s body.

The charges also noted that the young girl “has been deceased for some time” when the police found her, according to the report.

The autopsy revealed that Hallow had fatal injuries, evidence of her being asphyxiated, and had several cuts, as well as “pin-like” wounds on her forehead. Hallow also had bleeding in the abdomen and brain, and bruises on her hands and hips.


Punished for ‘being bad’

The charges obtained by the news outlet showed that according to her siblings’ testimonies, Hallows was often being harshly punished by Brett and Sarah “when she is being bad.”

Her 6-year-old brother told police that the couple would sometimes tie up Hallow with a belt and place her inside a sleeping bag, leaving only her head exposed.

Hallow would also go to sleep restrained when she did “bad” things such as urinating on the floor or in her own clothes, or when she “tries to get food.”


10-year-old sister, meanwhile, told authorities that their parents would also tie up Hallow to prevent her from getting medicine.

Sarah denied to the police that she ever restrained her stepdaughter, but admitted that she noticed Hallow had been losing weight. She did not, however, take the girl to the hospital, according to the report. Brett, meanwhile, claimed that he did not remember much on the day his daughter was found dead because he was looking out for his children in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelsey Kruse, Hallow’s biological mother, took to Facebook on Aug. 15 to express her grief over the death of her daughter, saying her family has been given “a permanent scar.”

“You took something we will never get back. You neglected and abused my son and when that wasn’t enough you moved down the line of children you have,” she said, sharing photos of Brett and Sarah.

“I hope your other chidren know what you did and I hope they grow up knowing that their sister saved them,” Kruse added.

I hate you. I hate you both. You have been ruining my life for YEARS and now you have given me and my family a permanent…

Posted by Kelsey Kruse on Saturday, August 15, 2020

In an earlier post, Kruse said that Brett kept her daughter from him for several months “and he then took [Hallow’s] life.”

Kruse told police that she last saw Hallow in January and noted that her daughter’s weight looked rather appropriate at the time, the report said. Ian Biong /ra


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TAGS: Children, daughters, Elk River, Filicide, manslaughter, Minnesota, Murder, stepmother, United States

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