A couple who had tried adopting a 12-year-old girl named Kaitlyn Yozviak from Georgia is speaking out after Kaitlyn died and how they felt when her adoption fell through.
Now, her biological parents are being charged with her murder.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s preliminary investigation showed that Kaitlyn suffered “excessive physical pain due to medical negligence,” and Special Agent Mary Chandler said her condition “was one of the worst she’s ever seen,” according to 13WMAZ.
Kaitlyn’s parents, Katie Horton and Joey Yozviak, along with her siblings have a long history with the state Department of Family and Children Services. Her brothers had been removed from her parent’s home due to unsanitary conditions.
In 2008, one of the first DFCS cases involving Kaitlyn was opened. It was right around the time she was born and her parents decided to not put her up for adoption, 13WMAZ reported. More cases were then opened around 2018 after DFCS received reports that she was living in a “bug-infested” home “[with] excessive cats and hazardous conditions.”
Kaitlyn was sent to live with one of her aunts only to be returned to her parents after a week. The next time DFCS was notified about the 12-year-old, she had passed away.
While Kaitlyn’s cause of death has not been released, 13WMAZ reported Monday’s probable cause hearing provided the clearest look as to what happened to her.
According to GBI Special Agent Ryan Hilton, Kaitlyn had “the most severe” lice infestation at the time of her death GBI has ever seen, he told Judge Brenda Trammell. It’s believed that the lice infestation “may have lasted on and off for at least three years.”
While at the hearing, Agent Hilton also cited medical records from Navicent Health Baldwin. Kaitlyn’s “primary cause of death was cardiac arrest with a secondary cause being severe anemia.” Agent Hilton believes that the anemia was caused by the consistent bug bites to her scalp, as a result of the lice.
Her mother also told investigators that Kaitlyn hadn’t been bathed in weeks and neighbors said they hadn’t seen the young girl playing around her house in weeks. Now, the couple who was supposed to adopt Kaitlyn is speaking out.
Michele and Dwyatt Creamer said that they’ve grieved Kaitlyn twice now, according to 13WMAZ. “I never dreamed it would end like this. Never,” Michele said.
The Creamers were supposed to adopt Kaitlyn in 2008 when her biological parents ultimately decided to keep Kaitlyn as their own.
“We had absolutely everything ready. Car seat, baby bed, furniture, everything [in the nursery] was pink and brown. I had an outfit to bring her home in. A diaper bag, absolutely everything,” Michele told 13WMAZ.
The Creamers added that Katie Horton and Joey Yozviak “didn’t have a home of their own. He worked a part-time job at that point. She didn’t work at all. They felt like they couldn’t provide for her.”
The day Katie Horton went into labor, the Creamers were at the hospital when Kaitlyn was born preparing to take her home.
“I named her. I was in the delivery room. We held her. I have probably 100 pictures of her first few hours. She had beautiful dark eyes, beautiful dark eyes. She was absolutely gorgeous, so alert,” Michele said.
However, the next day, Horton reportedly told Michele that she felt obligated to keep Kaitlyn even though she didn’t want to.
“When I went to the hospital, we were supposed to go home that day. I had the car seat. I had the diaper bag. I had her outfit to go home in.
I had everything there.When I walked into her room, [Horton] was crying. 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. ’ We never dreamed they changed their minds.
They were adamant that ‘This baby is yours,’ and the worst part for us was we really didn’t know what she was going to be going into,” Michele said.
Michele told Horton to call her if she changed her mind, but they never heard from Kaitlyn or her parents again. Michele and Dwyatt learned about Kaitlyn’s passing after seeing 13WMAZ’s initial report.