A schoolgirl died of a cardiac arrest caused by three years of head lice bites and her parents have been charged with her murder.
Kaitlyn Yozviak suffered anaemia cause by a severe and prolonged head lice infestation which in turn, caused the 12-year-old to suffer a fatal heart attack.
Her parents Joey Yozviak, 38, and Mary Katherine Horton, 37, have been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child cruelty over the her death which happened on August 26 in Macon, Georgia.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agents found tragic Kaitlyn had been sleeping in a bug-infested bed and had not bathed for at least a week before her death.
The GBI said it was 'the most severe' lice infestation that they had ever seen, and said the youngster would have been in constant "excessive pain".
GBI Special Agent Ryan Hilton told Wilkinson Suprior Court that he believed repeated bites from the lice would have lowered her blood iron levels, probably causing the anemia, which then may have triggered the cardiac attack.
Documents from Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFSC) show that Kaitlyn's two brothers were removed from the family home because of the filthy conditions.
Neighbours reportedly told WMAZ-TV that they had not seen the schoolgirl out playing for at least two months before her death.
In 2008, DFCS opened another case around the time Kaitlyn was born, after her parents decided not to give her up for adoption.
But after that the agency didn't hear from the family again until 2018 where files show a call indicating the home was 'bug-infested, (with) excessive cats, and hazardous conditions.'
Teachers at Clifton Ridge Middle School in Ivey described Kaitlyn as a “very sweet girl”.
Lelin Holt told WMAZ-TV: “She was a very sweet, sweet girl. Always respectful, I've never had any issues out of her at all.
"I never saw anything that was super-off, anything to report. If I did, I would've definitely reported."
The child's devastated maternal grandmother accused social workers of not doing enough to care for Katilyn, insisting she could have lived with her.
She said: “Had the system done their job and rescued Kaitlyn, I would have raised her."