Three of the Odonnell siblings were removed from their home by CPS after two of them had tried smoking pot and it was posted on instagram. The sisters were sentenced to serve at least a year's time in Wolverine detention center. One of the teen's has developed anorexia and now has damaged organs, another is showing signs of anorexia and the third and oldest is experiencing oral issues with impacted teeth that is not being addressed.
Please take the time to read these girls' story. No one deserves to lose their lives for a non-violent crime like trying Marijuana once. Someone needs to step up and help these poor girls.
FULL STORY BELOW:
"A Michigan social worker asked the mother of a 14 year old girl if she has life insurance on her daughter, Abbie Odonnell, after the 5′ 9″ teen went from 145 lbs to 92 lbs under CPS custody. Her twin sister Alexis is being housed in a maximum security juvenile detention facility, and her bunkmate has reportedly murdered 7 people. Their 17 year old sister Alyssa is being held in another lock-down facility. The girls’ crime? The twins admitted to smoking pot on one occasion. Later the twins ran away from an abusive foster home. For the heinous crime of escaping that abuse, CPS is forcing the twins to serve a 12 month sentence in Wolverine Secure Treatment Center, and forbidding their older sister, who has done nothing wrong, to go home.
Laura Dalton doesn’t think that Abbie will survive that long. Apparently, her social worker doesn’t either, but is not doing anything to fix the situation.
Laura says that it has already been 17 months, and the girls have learned their lesson. They shouldn’t have been smoking marijuana. They know that now. But is that infraction worth the state of Michigan endangering the very lives of these once healthy, thriving kids?
Trouble, CPS Shows Up
Alyssa has always been an honor roll student, and the twins enjoyed cheerleading and gymnastics. They lived with their mom and older brother. Their oldest sister was in an apartment nearby. The family moved to a new county, and a new school in St. Clair, Michigan. It was April 2014. School was year-round, and they were the new kids on the block. They missed their old friends and their old school, and had some difficulty adjusting.
No one is excusing the fact that the twins tried pot. Their mother was quite concerned when someone from the new school called about a concerning photo on Instagram. Laura had never done any drugs and did not want that for her children. She had every intention of addressing the issue as a parent, but CPS intervened first. When the social worker showed up on her doorstep, she threatened Laura with the prospect of losing her children. Laura reports that the social worker told her:
'If you don’t want to lose your kids, you will do this.'
The social worker reportedly demanded that she go to the courts and file charges on the twins for being “incorrigible” – in other words, not following the rules. They were 13 at the time. Laura went along with it, because she knew that smoking pot was bad, and that the twins had made a poor choice. The worker convinced her that this would help.
The court gave the twins the choice between going to trial or accepting probation. Alexis and Abbie chose probation. Not long after that, they missed school one day because they didn’t feel well. The very next day, while their mother was at the grocery store, CPS again came to the home. The girls freely allowed the social workers into the house. At that time, Laura says that they all believed that the social workers were honestly trying to help them.
Things reportedly got much worse, very quickly.
The social worker called Laura, who headed home right away. By the time she got there, not only were the twins gone, their 15 year old sister Alyssa was also taken into CPS custody. CPS social workers also took their birth certificates. Alyssa had nothing to do with the marijuana incident or the probation, but she was there when CPS came. Later, CPS alleged that someone had made a call to centralized intake that Laura couldn’t handle her children. They also stated that they had put services, like life skills, in place, but Laura says that the only thing at that time was probation.
Twins Run Away From Abusive Foster Home
Alyssa was placed in one foster home, and the twins were placed in a different foster home which already housed 4 other foster teenage girls, along with another teen girl who had been adopted. As is very common in CPS removals, no family members were given the opportunity to take them in.
Alexis was only there 3 weeks when she and a 16 year old resident decided they couldn’t take the abuse that they alleged was taking place in the home, and they ran away. Abbie, who is described as the more docile of the twins, was afraid to run away, and she stayed behind. The twins were apart for the first time in their lives.
Alexis and the other girl were caught after a couple of weeks, but Alexis refused to go back to the foster home. The only other option she was given was a juvenile detention home, but she chose that over going back to the foster home.
They reported the abuse to CPS, and they reportedly investigated. The foster father had allegedly pushed one of the girls, and the girls were verbally abused. The foster mother reportedly told the girls that their parents didn’t want them:
Your mom doesn’t love you. If it wasn’t for me, no one would want you.
(Note: Many teens and adults who are former foster children have reported being told similar things.)
At this point, one of the girls was removed from the foster home by her social worker. Abbie’s social worker and the “Child Protective” social workers of the other girls were not so concerned, and left them in the foster home, despite knowing what was going on there.
Abbie was reportedly very frightened, and tried to endure. In December of 2014, Abbie couldn’t cope with the things in the foster home anymore. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she reported the abuse. The hospital reported it to CPS, who was sent out to investigate again. But Abbie made it clear that she couldn’t handle the place anymore. She told the hospital staff that, if they made her go back, she would either commit suicide or run away. They discharged her that evening anyway.
Abbie made good on her promise. On her way to school the next morning, she ran away.
Alexis received a call at the facility from an unknown male, a person who was not on her call list, and she too disappeared. No one in their family or with CPS knew where they went. To date, no one still knows what happened to them while they were missing. CPS was responsible for them.
Abbie Dropped Off at Hospital With a Pulse of 20.
They were missing until September 2015. Someone dropped Abbie off at Detroit Children’s Hospital and then disappeared into the night. Her pulse rate was an alarming 20 bpm. She was skin and bones. When CPS first took her the previous summer, she weighed 145 lbs. She was now 100 lbs. She would not speak of where she had been.
A week later, in an apparent effort to be near her twin sister, Alexis turned herself in. She was still healthy, at least physically.
Abbie was diagnosed with bulimia and anorexia. Later Alexis would be diagnosed with bulimia. Neither had any signs of eating disorder before. They were allegedly traumatized.
12 Month Sentence for Escaping Abusive Home
Countless books, movies, and public campaigns are aimed at empowering women that they do not have to endure abuse. Every major city has shelters set up to enable women to escape abuse. But what happens to children when they try to escape an abusive situation? The Odonnell twins were not even in the home of any biological relatives; they had been placed with strangers. Yet when they escaped, they were afraid to go home. They knew that their mother would be blamed and they would be taken away again.
For their crime of escaping an abusive situation, Michigan Child Protective Services has labeled them as going AWOL and is punishing the young abuse victims by placing them for 12 months time in a maximum security facility, called Wolverine Secure Treatment Center, in Saginaw, a 2 hour drive from their home. They are in the Endeavor Program. According to their website, Wolverine’s Endeavor Program:
'provide[s] rehabilitative services for girls ages 12-20 who have been convicted of violent crimes.
The program is “housed in the Wolverine Secure Treatment Center, a maximum security facility built in 2008.” Further, the website states that they serve “abused, neglected, and delinquent youth throughout the state of Michigan."'
Abused and neglected children, as well as those who commit non-violent crimes, such as smoking pot and running away, are housed in this maximum security juvenile facility, alongside those teens who have committed violent acts, including murder. Alexis is now rooming with a girl who has reportedly murdered 7 people, most in gang-related crimes. Abbie is scheduled to go into this cabin when she goes back, the young twins who have never even been accused of violence, with an alleged gang murderer.
According to the Medill Watchdog, a public accountability publication:
'Younger, more vulnerable residents have often been brutalized by older, tougher residents [of Wolverine], the investigation shows. Abuse and neglect victims have been housed alongside juvenile felons – some of them former gang members – who instigated dangerous inter-bunk brawls and posed a serious threat to staff and kids alike, according to a review of state and police records, lawsuits and interviews with former employees, residents, and state investigators.
Forced to Take Psychotropic Drugs, Labeled “Manipulative” Because They Want to Go Home'
Both twins have been depressed since being away from home. They have been in and out of medical and psychiatric hospitals. Alyssa has also been depressed. The simple answer is that the girls are frustrated with their situation, and they want to go home.
Their mother has done all of the classes and met the requirements demanded of her. But the social workers seem determined to make the girls pay for “going AWOL,” ignoring the fact that the girls are very normal girls who just want to go home where they belong. The twins had never been separated before and are desperate to be together. CPS is allegedly labeling this normal behavior of the children as “manipulative” and “sabotage.”
Abbie was reportedly told that they had to stay at Wolverine because she was sent there, and she will not be permitted to tell the state what she will do. Because she has been in the hospital, when she goes back, she does not get credit for time already served; her 12 months reportedly will start over again.
'Where we put you is where you are staying. You will do your time or you’re not going home.'
The social worker reportedly has threatened to keep them in a lock down facility till they are 19 or even 26 years old, based on mental issues. The same worker has told the girls that their mother hasn’t even tried to see them. CPS has limited her visits to 1 or 2 per month per child. Fortunately, Laura says, her children know better. They know that their mom loves them.
According to court documents, the girls are accused of being “attention seeking and manipulative”:
'All the girls continue to sabotage their placement in hopes that they will be placed back with their mother … Alexis and Abbie continue to have suicidal tendencies which have cause [sic] them to be hospitalized since they return [sic] from AWOL in September 2015.'
The girls have no previous history of depression. Now, according to Laura, they are:
literally forced to take pills or they are not participating in their treatment program, which means longer away from mom.
Abbie especially has a difficult time with this requirement because she has reportedly never liked taking medications. She doesn’t like having no control over what goes into her body. She is complying with this CPS requirement that she hates simply because she wants to come home. The twins want to be together again, yet the state has been keeping them apart as well. The separation is allegedly the root cause of the depression.
Abbie’s Life Is in Danger
Alexis went from 156 lbs to her current weight of 129 lbs, while her sister’s weight has been much more drastic. Abbie weighed 145 when she was taken. She currently weighs 102/103, according to a nurse at the hospital where she is now. She got down to 92 lbs while under CPS custody. A feeding tube has been inserted.
Abbie has apparently become anorexic in an attempt to have a shred of control over her life. She has told CPS:
'You can control where I live, but you can’t control whether I live or die.'
Her organs have been damaged. She has been hospitalized for dehydration twice in recent months. Her blood pressure is low, and she is in very poor health. Family and friends fear for her life.
Her mother and grandmother are afraid for her as well. Laura pleads for help to save her daughter:
'Abbie does not have it in her to live another 12 months away from her family.
Juvenile Detention Center'
According to a hospital social worker, state funding is limited; therefore, Abbie cannot be placed in a facility that would address her eating disorders. Instead, as soon as she becomes stable enough to be released from the hospital, she will be sent back to Wolverine Juvenile Detention Center.
Even now, because Abbie is considered a resident of Wolverine, she is required to be shackled in the hospital and wear a full straight leg brace shackled to the bed, designed to keep kids from running away. She spent 4 days without being able to bend her leg even once, complaining all the while that the brace was too tight. When a doctor finally loosened it, he found that the metal brace had caused bruising on the back of her knee and ankle.
When Laura expressed normal concerns over the restriction of and tightness of the leg brace. CPS accused her of “exhibiting odd behavior.”
Why are children being forced to wear such a leg brace, when hardened adult criminals are not even required to wear them?
There is not round-the-clock nursing staff at Wolverine, which Abbie’s family says that she needs. Her grandmother told Health Impact News:
'My main fear is she will go unnoticed at Wolverine and will die in her sleep.'
She points out that Wolverine staff did not document that Abbie had passed out shortly after she arrived. Abbie remembers only hitting her head on the sink. Someone picked her up and put her back in bed, without so much as checking her vital signs. Abbie’s grandmother wonders if she suffered a seizure when her blood pressure dropped.
Abbie is reportedly afraid to be at Wolverine with her feeding tube, concerned that it will make her more of a target for violence.
Social Worker Asks Mom if She Has Life Insurance on Abbie
Laura reports that a social worker asked her a very disturbing question as they were on their way to a rare visit with Abbie:
Do you have life insurance on Abbie? I would be getting life insurance on her. The state will cover a funeral, but I recommend life insurance.
She asked her:
'Are you prepared for her to die?'
The social worker reportedly gave other unwelcome advice to Laura:
'Let Abbie know that you would be able to live without her, that your life will go on.'
This was said to a mother whose friends say is a “great mom” who has “dedicated her life to her kids,” and “would give her life for any of them.” She assures Health Impact News that she will NOT be okay if her daughter dies. This never should have happened.
Laura has reportedly done everything that CPS asks of her, but they keep finding more hoops for her to jump through; meanwhile, her daughter sometimes appears ready to check out of this life. As she loses hope, she is losing the will to fight to live.
Why is this Happening?
Family members want to know why are there such extreme consequences for these children for sins that, in the scheme of things, are not that serious? Isn’t the point of Child Protective Services to protect children, not take away their will to live?
One court document that Laura received may shed some light. One of the “recommendations to the court” by CPS is:
'That the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services remains special guardian to receive any governmental benefits now due or to become due to said minors from the government of the United States'
According to one of the psychologists that saw the girls, the twins are not delinquents; they are severely depressed. The girls are depressed because they are not allowed to go home, and they have been kept from seeing each other. According to Michigan CPS regulations, siblings are required to have visits with each other at least once per month. However, the girls’ grandmother reports:
They are very close and have never been separated till they went into state care. Alyssa broke down in court after seeing her sister for the 1st time in 10 months. She was hysterical and was reprimanded and told it showed the judge she was mentally unstable. Alyssa couldn’t believe how awful her sister Abbie looked. Since then Alyssa still has not had a sibling visit. She only saw the twin in the courtroom in now almost 1 year.
Because the girls are depressed, they have been prescribed psychotropic medications. Because they are on such medications, they can be labeled as disabled. Therefore, there is more federal Title IV-E money that comes into the state because they are now labeled disabled.
Recently, Laura Dalton and her mother took to social media, posting memes and information about the excessive punishment of CPS and letting the public know of their fear for all 3 girls, but especially Abbie, whose life is in serious danger. When the social worker and probation officer found out, they threatened to terminate Laura’s parental rights, telling her that, if that happens, she won’t know about anything that happens to Abbie.
If Laura’s parental rights are severed, she is afraid that Abbie will give up.
The Odonnell Family Needs Help
The public needs to know what is happening to kids like Abbie, Alexis, and Alyssa. Alyssa is still on the honor roll, but is in a lock down facility to ensure that she doesn’t run away. She is 17 now, and could legally live on her own in Michigan. But the state would miss out on the funds for her.
She also needs dental care. Her mother says that her wisdom teeth have become impacted and her gums are very swollen. Despite staff being made aware of this, nothing has been done.
The twins missed their entire 8th grade year, and they continue to miss school. One day of missed school prompted the state to intervene almost a year and a half ago. However, the state of Michigan has demonstrated that it is a poor substitute for the love and discipline of a family. The Odonnell girls are not thriving under CPS care. Wouldn’t it make sense to send them home? They have long since paid the price for their crime of smoking marijuana. It shouldn’t cost them their family, or their lives."
The family is asking for help. Friends have set up a Facebook page for the public to get involved in bringing these girls home – "Free the Odonnell Girls from cps"