Sixteen-year-old Sabrina Ray was found dead inside the Perry, Iowa, home of her adoptive parents on May 12. At the time of her death, the teenager weighed just 56 pounds, as little as a healthy 7-year-old. However, the police would soon make a second horrid discovery about the circumstances surrounding Sabrina’s demise, and it’s enough to turn your stomach.
Sabrina’s short life was plagued by tragedy; both of her birth parents had troubled pasts, with her father pleading guilty to child endangerment as a recovering meth addict and her mother dying of cancer. She moved in with the Rays in 2011, and they adopted her in 2013, but her circumstances would not get any easier.
It appears that Sabrina suffered horrifying abuse at the hands of everyone in her family, even her adoptive brother, 21-year-old Justin Dale Ray, who “drop-kicked” her down basement stairs, after which she was unable to walk, talk, or eat. Now, five people have been charged in her starvation death.
Justin Ray is charged with two felony counts of willful injury and two felony counts of child endangerment. Court documents indicate he lives in the home where Sabrina Ray was found dead and is the adoptive brother of Sabrina.
Court documents indicate he “drop-kicked” Sabrina down the basement staircase, causing her to land on the basement floor.
According to court documents, Sabrina suffered serious injury and was unable to walk, talk, eat or drink following that act. The incident happened sometime between March 1 and May 12.
Also charged in Sabrina’s death are her adoptive parents, 41-year-old Marc Ray and 40-year-old Misty Ray, plus her adoptive grandmother, 62-year-old Carla Bousman, and a cousin who lived with the family, 20-year-old Josie Raye Bousman. Their arrests come more than two weeks after Sabrina was found dead in her home while Marc and Misty vacationed at Disney World.
“There was a lot of follow-up interviews that needed to be done with people who resided with (the Rays), had contact with them, (and) had daycare with them,” said Perry police Chief Eric Vaughn. The Rays had other foster children and also ran a daycare out of their two-story home at 1708 1st Avenue.
Ray was found dead inside her family’s residence at 1708 1st Avenue in Perry – a tidy two-story home with a patch of grass in the front yard – at around 6:30 pm on May 12 after police responded to a report of an unresponsive teenager.
The girl’s adoptive parents, Marc and Misty Ray, were away on a trip to Disney World with one of their sons when the 911 call was placed, but arrived around the same time as the first responders.
Both parents were arrested and each charged with child endangerment resulting in death and 10 other child endangerment, negligence, and kidnapping counts.
“It is very concerning,” said Vaughn. “Very concerning to us the amount of, as you can tell, people who had knowledge of (the abuse).” Indeed, it is amazing that so many members of one family could take part in the ongoing abuse of an innocent girl with none of them ever speaking up or doing anything to put a stop to it. If you needed proof that evil exists in this world, look no further than the heartbreaking case of Sabrina Ray.