Autumn Hallow was found dead and emaciated in her apartment last year.
Trigger Warning: The report has details of child abuse and deaths that readers will find disturbing
Parents of an 8-year-old girl in Minnesota who brutally abused her leading to her death have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges reports PEOPLE. Autumn Hallow, was found dead with severe injuries like puncture wounds in her head and a brain bleed. Her death last year was ruled the result of asphyxiation. The girl's body was found in her home but she had already been dead for several days prior. She was found with her face-down in a bathtub with a number of head wounds. Brett Jason Hallow, 31, and Sarah Kay Hallow, 29, will now be sentenced in September and are facing a possible 40-year term jail sentence. Investigators found horrible details of the abuse that the victim was regularly subjected to at home. They would tie the girl up if she misbehaved, starved her and deprived her of water and medicines.
When the girl's body was found she was in a highly emaciated state weighing just 33 pounds. The prosecutors also showed court surveillance footage of Hollow's abuse in her last days. The parents confessed to assaulting Hallow in the bathroom before her death. Sarah, Hollow's stepmother, revealed the victim had been locked there before her death. They also pleaded guilty to several other charges of abuse committed towards their other kids - Hollow's younger brother and another child at home. According to KSTP, Kelsey Kruse, Hollow's biological mother said, "I feel like them taking a plea deal for less time was kind of the coward's way out, but also I liked that they were admitting some guilty and I knew part of what happened at least."
Brett Jason Hallow and Sarah Kay Hallow admitted to beating and starving Autumn Hallow in the days and weeks before she ultimately died in the couple's apartment on 172nd Ave. NW. in Elk River last year. https://t.co/m6rlOkxkDU— MN CRIME ☀️ (@MN_CRIME) June 22, 2021
She has named Sherburne County Child Protection Services and the Elk River Police Department, in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. In it, she has alleged a "failure of the system" and the agencies' failure to discharge their basic duties to save her child. She revealed she had pleaded with both the agencies for help but was not able to see her daughter in the six months before her child's death. Kruse and Hollow's father, Brett had agreed to joint custody of their daughter as per court orders but Brett stopped sharing custody. She said she raised the matter and knocked on the doors of the authorities for months before Hallow's death. She also raised concerns about her safety. An investigation by the channel also found out the Elk River police were called to the Hallow’s apartment as many as 31 times since 2018.
If you do not want your child then give them up to the state. No child deserves this.— Jenifer Markoe (@JAM661) June 22, 2021
Half of the 31 calls were made in 2020 alone. Kruse filed a lawsuit in May suing the two agencies for $30 million. In addition to the compensation, she said she wanted more legislation and one named after her daughter to protect children. Kruse also started a campaign to carry out acts of kindness in memory of her late daughter. In another case, an Illinois woman has was found guilty of the killing of her 8-year-old stepdaughter. The mother, 41-year-old Cynthia Baker guilty of several acts including murder, aggravated battery, endangering the life of a child, and domestic battery in the death of the child named Rica Rountree. She was arrested after her stepdaughter, died at a hospital according to PEOPLE.