Lice infestation indirectly causes girl’s death, officials said, parents charged

IVEY, Ga. — A Georgia 12-year-old girl has died and officials said her death could be an indirect result of a severe lice infestation, The Associated Press reported.

Kaitlyn Yozviak’s parents, Mary Katherine “Katie” Horton and Joey Yozviak, have been charged with second-degree child cruelty and murder in the second degree, WMAZ reported.

Medical records said Kaitlyn died from cardiac arrest and severe anemia. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said she suffered “excessive physical pain due to medical negligence,” the AP reported.

GBI Special Agent Ryan Hilton said Kaitlyn had the most severe lice infestation the office had ever seen and that it could have been on and off for three years.

Hilton said the lice bit the girl so much that it lowered her blood iron levels, causing anemia and possibly, cardiac arrest, the AP reported.

Horton told investigators that her daughter had not taken a bath in the week and a half before Kaitlyn died.

Horton and Yozivak had to older sons, both had been removed from the home in the past, WMAZ reported. They are in the custody of their maternal grandmother, Anna Horton, who said, “Had the system done their job and rescued Kaitlyn, I would [have] raised her.”

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services had investigated the family in 2018 when they had a call that said the home was “bug-infested, (with) excessive cats, and hazardous conditions," WMAZ reported.

Kaitlyn was placed in her aunt’s custody temporarily but was returned to her parents six days later.