Dent County father sentenced to life for the starvation death of his adopted daughter

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:02 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:55 PM CST
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DENT COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - A Dent County man has been sentenced to life in prison for the starving death of his adopted daughter in October 2020.

Randall Abney was found guilty in August of second-degree murder and neglect of a child and was sentenced to life in prison on both counts. His wife, Susan Abney, was also sentenced to life in prison last month.

In October 2020, Dent County sheriff’s deputies responded to the Abney house for a report of a girl unconscious. Deputies noticed Josie Ann Abney was very thin. Susan Abney told them the child hadn’t been eating much. Josie Ann later died at the Salem Memorial District Hospital.

Josie Ann Abney in glasses
Josie Ann Abney in glasses(KY3)

Investigators say the girl, ten years old, weighed about 39 pounds. A typical child at this age weighs around 70 pounds.

According to investigators, Susan Abney told them she was too scared to take Josie Ann to the doctor sooner. Investigators found a lock on the refrigerator, and food was kept out of Josie Ann’s reach.

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