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    Parents charged in death of daughter who suffered a severe lice infestation

    The Georgia parents charged with their 12-year-old daughter’s murder, linked to a severe lice infestation, have been granted bail.

    Mary Katherine “Katie” Horton and John Joseph “Joey” Yozviak, of Wilkinson County, who have been charged with child cruelty and second-degree murder, were each granted $100,000 bail on Monday, The Associated Press reports. Wilkinson County sits about 30 miles east of Macon.

    The September 2020 death of the pair’s daughter, Kaitlyn Yozviak, might have been an indirect result of a potentially years-long lice infestation, authorities said at the time.

    Though autopsy results are still pending, medical records from September attribute Kaitlyn’s death to cardiac arrest with severe anemia listed as a secondary cause, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Ryan Hilton testified.

    Kaitlyn’s lice infestation was “the most severe” ever seen by the GBI and could have lasted intermittently for at least three years, the agent testified.

    Hilton also believes repeated bites from lice lowered the young girl’s blood iron levels, which resulted in the anemia and eventual cardiac attack.

    Prosecutors have yet to seek a grand jury indictment for Horton and Yozviak, which is why the couple was entitled to bond under state law, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit ADA Brent Cochran told WMAZ-TV. Both Horton and Yozviak were still in jail Monday night, having not posted bond.

    The family was well-known to Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services at the time of Kaitlyn’s death, according to Special Agent Mary Chandler.

    The little girl’s two brothers had been removed from the home because of unsanitary conditions, according to DFCS documents.

    The agency opened another case against the couple in 2008, when the pair decided to not put Kaitlyn up for adoption, though there weren’t any other reports on the family until 2018.

    At the time, there were concerns about their “bug-infested” home, with a call suggesting “excessive cats and hazardous conditions.” This resulted in Kaitlyn being placed with her aunt for six days, though she was subsequently returned to Horton and Yozviak.


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