Cerebral palsy took part of Annie Marshall’s sight and hearing, and led to retardation and other disorders.
Yet it was her mother, authorities said, who killed the 14-year-old by confining and starving her for three months.
The mother, 30-year-old Kathryn Joan Allen, was arrested Friday while driving back from Annie’s funeral. She was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, and was being held without bail.
Annie died at home March 22 curled in a fetal position. She had been kept in her room since before Christmas, too weak to get off a floor mat, police Sgt. Frank Surmaczewicz said.
She was 4-foot-8, yet weighed just 28 pounds when she died, according to an autopsy report. Medical records show she weighed 55 pounds in November.
“This is unspeakably wicked,” said Volusia County Medical Examiner John Gaston. “This is the most heinous and hideous thing I’ve ever been involved in.”
Investigators said Allen entered Annie’s room around 7 a.m. on March 22 in the home she shares with her boyfriend, Lawrence Doyle Kuzmovich, 33. Annie did not wave as she usually did when she woke up; she was not breathing.
Before calling police, Allen took Annie’s two younger sisters, ages 5 and 4, to the kitchen and the family had breakfast, police said. Kuzmovich then took the two girls for a ride, dropping one off at school while Allen stayed home with her 1-yearold son.
At about 8 a.m., Kuzmovich returned and called police, telling a dispatcher: “We woke up this morning and found my girlfriend’s daughter dead in bed. Who should we call about this?”
He added: “We found her, say around 7, but we went ahead and got the other daughter ready for school. We thought that would be better.”
Police refused to say if Kuzmovich is a suspect. The other children were placed in foster homes.
At first, the couple claimed Annie had been given three full meals and plenty of liquids every day.
But Kuzmovich later admitted they had placed the girl in a back room about three months ago because she sometimes urinated and defecated without control. Kuzmovich told police he did not like the smell.
Annie would have lived with proper food and care, Gaston said. She last saw a doctor in November.
“There are people far worse off than Annie who live much longer lives,” he said.
Neither police nor state Health and Rehabilitative Services office had received reports of abuse or neglect of Annie.
Allen’s former husband, Wayne Allen of Holley, N.Y., told the Daytona Beach News-Journal he had tried to get custody of Annie when he divorced in 1988, but the girl’s birth father would not consent.
Allen said of his ex-wife: “She just didn’t care. I think she should be put away for life.”
He said Annie enjoyed music, but one Beach Boys song always made Annie cry.
The title was “In My Room.”