GUILTY: Parents Convicted of Murder in Death of Diabetic Daughter

We ran an article on this court case today in Diabetes News Hound. You can read it here: GUILTY: Parents Convicted of Murder in Death of Diabetic Daughter

The case is pretty egregious. I can't even imagine the circumstances that led to it. But, my question is this: The parents may spend the rest of their lives in jail. Do you think the punishment fits the crime?


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They let their daughter die one horrible death so I would have to vote yes.

Jail will probably be cleaner than home from the statements made in the article and they will be fed 3 squares a day. So punishment. I don’t think one can even quite call it that. The one that I really feel for is the younger sister. One has to assume that she will at least be afforded a better standard of care in child protective services if she is of such an age.


No… I think they should be given the death penalty… :confused:

Death penalty sounds right to me

Many remark about the squalid environment, but in my home town in the past 20 years several T1 kids of well-to-do parents have died before getting out of high school. One was undiagnosed when he died - the parents didn’t respond to the severity in time.

I’m not saying there are excuses, but it’s hard for many parents to come to terms with their kids having chronic uncurable diseases or even the possibility that they do. I was diagnosed as a kid and to tell you the truth, I think I was lucky in so many ways - good parents, good hospitals, etc.

Beyond belief.

There was another similar story, believe the family’s in TX, of parents taking insulin away from their teenage daughter based on their religious beliefs. Prayer would cure her. She suffered for days DKA & died. I don’t think their trial has come up yet. To me, that was murder.

Yipes. This is terrible. Sounds like their were other issues with this family though?? Diapers? Bedsores? Outward signs prior with doctor warning? While first reading, I thought back to my own situation when I was diagnosed–was at my aunt’s home in another state, and she too just thought I had the flu (That said, we have no history of diabetes, and to her defense, did just seem like a flu that came on with a vengeance!) Was lucky My mom arrived at the minute she did and rushed me to the hospital. Was slipping into a coma with BG’s in the 1200’s too…Sorry. Off track here. I don’t know, this sounds ultra fishy. And they face at minimum 15 years? Not so sure that is right…

This is not any different when people leave their aging parents to live in squalor. When my Aunt suddenly died…I quit my pharm job and moved from the Midwest to the West coast to take care of my aging, demented dying uncle who hast a host of aliments and health issues. there are no excuses for not taking care of the defenseless people in society. If there is a problem with the caretaker… then they need to seek help. If a grown up want to live in filth then fine but don’t subject this on children and the elderly. This was shear laziness to try and cope with the situation. No excuses…

This is murder… period… do you have the link to this case. I am interest in the rationale of not giving a naturally occurring hormone to a child.


I can fully understand a DKA situation where the child was not previously diagnosed. A coma is what all too often brings a family to ER, but this child was ALREADY a confirmed T1. Before reading the first article, I was in your pool. Ufortunately there are a lot of T1 diagnosis where the child is only first found to be diabetic after already reaching a coma situation. That is very sad and it means that information on signs is not getting out to the families of these children.

As a parent of a T1 you have to be vigilent. You have to learn what make sense and what does not. But having said that, I had a personal situation where I was sure our son was heading rapidly toward DKA one Friday evening. We returned home from out of town, son in tow, to be at a hospital that we know, just in case, and as things worsened we went to the emergency of our local childrens hospital, only to find that they did not have anyone on staff who could deal with diabetes beyond the basic referal to clinic. We were lucky in that our next diabetes clinic visit just happened to be set for the following Monday. Otherwise, we were pretty much on our own from Friday through to Monday even after having gone to emergency Saturday night. By Sunday David was vomiting severley and no idea who he was or where he was. He was much improved by Monday. Still very green, but able to go to the clinic visit, so at least we were able to go in and figure where he was at.


honestly i dont think its our place to judge them. think of all the wrong we’ve done. what makes us better than them?
besides that, if you were in their situation, you wouldnt want a whole community of diabetics judging you.

Hard not to judge when parents let a child suffer & die. This wasn’t an accident. They were warned by their doctor, she had DKA episodes before & the father is a T1 diabetic. Even if they were ignorant of DKA, they could see her suffering in pain for days wearing a diaper! It’s a horrific way to die. If I did something that unspeakable, I’d expect to be judged. Most people, thankfully, are far better than these parents.

Sorry, I don’t have the link for that case. There was a discussion here about it months ago. Their rationale was that prayer would cure her & the parents removed her access to insulin…

Such a sad story. Sounds like the girl may have been type one diabetic and maybe Special needs as well:Most type one 17- year olds do not need to wear diapers unless they have other physical or cognitive challenges. From the state of the home, maybe Mom and Dad have issues, too. Was Dad in control of his own diabetes? Are the parents of limited education or with challenges themselves?. I am not calling for sympathy, just wondering what could have led up to such a tragedy. The news story did not provide details.

God Bless,

Article states she was Type 1. 1295 BG & a previous DKA episode in 2001 where the parents were warned to keep an eye on Nanette’s condition.

From MNBC:

"Prosecutor Burke Strunsky told jurors during the trial that Nanette spent the last four days of her life starving and in a mental fog, wearing a wet diaper, because her parents didn’t call paramedics. They finally called 911 after she stopped breathing.

“This was a case of severe neglect in which a girl died a slow and painful death within arms reach of her parents,” Strunsky said.

Defense attorneys argued that the girl’s parents had tried their best to care for their daughter and thought she had the flu.
(Gee, you’d think even a flu this severe would warrant medical attention when they saw her eyes rolling back into her head, let alone a previous DKA experience.)

Neighbors of the Lathams told authorities that they tried to visit Nanette during the days before her death but were denied access, prosecutors said. One offered to provide the Lathams a ride to the hospital for Nanette but was turned down, according to prosecutors."

I read several other stories about this unthinkable tragedy. None mentioned Nanette being special needs or the parents being challenged. Guess that would have been the defense strategy if they were.

Total depravity regardless of education or lack of.

The article is very vague. Not too many details. The parents didn’t send their daughter to the hospital right away, but they did eventually send her. Based on what their home sounds like I would think they didn’t have health insurance, so they probably tried to avoid the doctors for a while.

The parents didn’t really kill their daughter, but they didn’t seem to try to save her either. I still think the article is very vague and we should get more information before passing judgement on this family. There has to be a reason why they waited so long, because if they wanted to kill their daughter, they would’nt have taken her to the hospital in the first place.

Although I’ve previously been chastised for my viewpoints on this website, I’ll hazard another attempt.

Most everyone is going to filter this family’s story through their unique lens, utterly aghast at how “parents” could “neglect” a child’s medical condition despite warnings from a medical doctor – and unable to comprehend how the family could live amongst such “squalor.” If you are so lucky as to not be able to understand these things, consider yourself incredibly lucky to have the mental wherewithal to know the difference between “normal” and “abnormal.”

Hopefully, no one on this board knows what it’s like to live the life the subject family did. Who is to say that the parents UNDERSTOOD diabetes? Who is to say they were literate, or had easy access to healthcare (let alone medication)? Yes, the article states that the father is diabetic, but the fact that he’s alive may mean he is Type 2 which requires relatively less maintenance and medication than Type 1. Even so, if there is no understanding – no concept – of the disease or its complications, does that qualify as murderous intent? What about Social Services? Surely, the agency came across this family’s trevails more than once.

I could feel just as angry, just as shocked and dismayed as anyone else. But as one whose own grandmother lived in a similar condition as this family, knowing the struggle her children went through to get her to “clean up her act,” there simply are people who cannot be convinced that there is another way to live. I feel worst for the children because, as children, they are powerless to change their environment.

Although I cannot be angry with the family, I can certainly be angry with anyone who might have been in a position to help but didn’t. Even so, our society is so big on the “pull yourself up by the boot straps” mentality, no wonder no one felt compelled to help.

No, I don’t know all of the truths behind this story – but I don’t think anyone else here knows, either.

thanks for expressing compassion. Ms. EV. I was wondering about all of the above as well. We cannot judge others intent if we do not know the circumstances.

God Bless,

I am 46 years old and have been registered to vote since 18. I have only been called to jury duty ONCE and had to be waved because my daughter was a baby. How is that statistically possible, I want to know?