Dent County couple now charged with second-degree murder in death of emaciated child

Randall Abney and Susan Abney.
Randall Abney and Susan Abney.(Dent County Jail)
Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 11:08 AM CST
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SALEM, Mo. (KY3) - A couple in Salem, Missouri now faces second-degree murder charges in the death of a 10-year-old, according to Missouri court records.

Prosecutors filed charges against Susan and Randall Abney in October for abuse or neglect of a child in the death of Josie Ann Abney. Susan and Randall are the adoptive parents of Josie, per court documents.

According to court documents obtained by KY3 in October, deputies were called out to the Abney’s house on Oct. 3 due to the girl being unconscious. When officers arrived, they noticed the girl was very thin. The Abney’s said she had not been eating much in the previous week. The girl later died at a hospital.

The doctor told investigators the girl was so dehydrated that they couldn’t draw her blood, and that her blood sugar was low. Investigators also noticed bruising on the many parts of the girl’s body.

Deputies searched the Abney’s home and found a child lock on the refrigerator, and no food that would be reachable by the girl in the kitchen. Officers also found a drawer full of junk food in the Abney’s room.

When investigators interviewed the Abney’s, officers asked why the couple didn’t take the girl to the hospital, Susan Abney said “I was too scared of what they would think.” Then when deputies asked who was responsible for the girl’s death, Susan answered “Me and Randy.”

An amended complaint was filed in court on Dec. 14, according to court records. A preliminary hearing for the couple is set for Jan. 21, 2021.

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