On November 3, 2007, first responders to a home in Hawks Nest, New South Wales, Australia were shocked and horrified by what they found. On a mattress in a feces-covered bedroom with a boarded-over window lay the twisted, emaciated form of 7-year-old Shellay Ward, who had been deprived of food, water, sunlight, medical attention, and basic human decency for months, if not years. Shellay’s parents, Blakeley and Sharyn Ward, were charged with her murder.
This is the story of the catastrophic failure of multiple government agencies created to protect Australia’s most vulnerable children. It’s also the story of the long, torturous death of an autistic seven-year-old girl who spent her final months imprisoned in her dark, filthy bedroom and who is largely known across Australia as Ebony, the girl who suffered the country’s worst child neglect death.
This is part one of the tragic story of Shellay “Ebony” Ward.
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This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.
For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.
Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.