An 8-year-old girl was found by police after she was starved and tied up by the couple who had custody of her. According to records obtained by the Star Tribune, 30-year-old Brett Hallow and 28-year-old Sarah Hallow have both been arrested for Autumn Hallow‘s tragic and horrific passing.
Brett and Sarah both face single counts of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. They are currently being held without bond.
Investigators believe Autumn was physically abused by Sarah and Brett. The abuse often took place inside their apartment and usually resulted in tying the 8-year-old up as a punishment for misbehaving. Investigators also alleged that the couple would keep food from Autumn.
At the time of the young child’s death, she weighed just 45 pounds. Also at the time of her death, abrasions were found on Autumn’s body, her fingers were blue, and “pin-like” marks were discovered on her forehead.
Couple Arrested Police Found Abused 8-Year-Old Unresponsive
It is believed that Brett called 911 when Autumn lost consciousness. Responding officers said they entered the apartment to find Sarah performing chest compressions on the 8-year-old. Brett and Sarah told the police that they found Autumn face-down in a bathtub before pulling her out and performing CPR.
Sadly, an autopsy revealed even more injuries that were sustained prior to her death. According to documents, Autumn had puncture wounds on her head, abdominal, she showed signs of a brain bleed, and her hips and hands were bruised. The autopsy also revealed signs that Autumn was asphyxiated, according to the Star Tribune.
“Based on the condition of [Autumn’s] body, law enforcement believed [she] had been deceased for some time,” the court documents read. The last time Autumn’s mother, Kelsey Kruse, says she saw her daughter was in January and she was in good health.
However, despite attempts to see her daughter over the last six months, Kruse claims that Brett and Sarah would cite coronavirus concerns and prevent Autumn and Kruse from seeing each other. There were also other children in the home at the time of Autumn’s death, the Star Tribune reported.
Investigators say after talking to the couple’s 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, they revealed that their parents would tie up Autumn with a belt before putting her in a sleeping bag, leaving only her head exposed. The boy also said they’d used a shirt to tie her hands behind her back. She would then be forced to sleep like that.
In a brutally honest Facebook post, Kruse wrote this about Brett and Sarah:
“I hate you. I hate you both. You have been ruining my life for YEARS and now you have given me and my family a permanent scar. You took something we will never get back. You neglected and abused my son and when that wasn’t enough you moved down the line of children you have. I will make sure that Autumn is remembered in the most beautiful way possible because she deserves nothing less. I wanted to give her the world and I will find a way to make sure I still do. I hope your other children know what you did and I hope they grow up knowing that their sister saved them.”
In an interview with WCCO, Sabrina McWilliam, who lived next to the Hallow family, that she could hear Brett and Sarah yelling at their kids. “You can sit out here any time of the day and hear both of them screaming at these kids, cussing at them.” Sabrina also alleged that she often reported the abuse to police, adding that she called, “Oh at least 5 times this year, at least.”
A GoFundMe campaign has since been set up to raise money to help Kruse cover the cost of Autumn’s funeral. So far, over $31,000 have been donated. Although Brett and Sarah have yet to enter a plea, the couple has maintained that they never tied Autumn up.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.