An investigative reporter named Dan Tilkin has found ten more dead children of faith healers in an Idaho cemetery.
A former member of the Followers of Christ advised him to go to Peaceful Valley and look for two specific names.
He found them. He found many more.
Garrett Dean Eells.
The coroner’s report says Garrett was a 6-day-old baby who died of interstitial pneumonitis. That’s pneumonia, untreated.
Jackson Scott Porter.
Jackson was a baby girl. She lived only 20 minutes. The coroner’s report said she received no pre-natal care.
Her grandfather, Mark Jerome, says she died in his house three months ago after his daughter went into labor.
“Well, when she came over, she was just sick – like a kidney infection or something like that,” Jerome said. “So she just wanted to come to the house for a couple days. And when she had the baby no one expected it, it just happened that quick.”
The coroner used the words “extreme prematurity” to describe the labor.
Jerome said he doesn’t regret the lack of pre-natal care. That gets to the heart of faith-healing.
“That’s the way we believe,” he said. “We believe in God and the way God handles the situation, the way we do things.”
Then why live in a house? Why wear clothes when it’s cold? Why eat and drink? Why not just lie around and wait for god to handle the situation?
The Canyon County coroner believes Preston had Down’s Syndrome, and that the 2-year-old died of pneumonia.
KATU reported on his death in 2011, along with that of 14-year-old Rocky.
Rocky isn’t buried in the cemetery, but he lived nearby with his parents, Sally and Dan.
They didn’t want to talk about not getting him treatment.
“What I will talk to you about is the law,” Dan Sevy said. “I would like to remind you this country was founded on religious freedom, and on freedom in general. I would like to say, I picture freedom as a full object. It’s not like you take “a” freedom away. It’s that you chip at the entire thing. Freedom is freedom. Whenever you try to restrict any one person, then you’re chipping away at freedom. Yours and mine.”
That’s true. Dan Sevy doesn’t have absolute freedom, just as the rest of us don’t. None of us can walk up to people and hack them up with machetes and then stroll off unmolested. We do restrict each other, all the time, in many ways. That’s the price of living among humans. The price of living at a vast distance from all humans is mostly starvation and death.
Unfortunately, those weren’t the only names in the cemetery. There are 10 new graves that look as though they belong to children that have appeared since KATU’s last report in 2011.
Arrian Jade Granden.
Arrian was 15 years old. She ran track at Parma Middle School.
In June 2012, she got food poisoning.
She vomited so badly she ruptured her esophagus.
She slipped into unconsciousness and went into cardiac arrest.
Micah Taylor Eells.
The autopsy says Micah died of “likely an intestinal blockage.”
Micah was four days old.
So, if you’re a child – don’t live in Idaho. Get right out of there.