$1M awarded to mom after her son’s father fed their child to pigs

Francis Akhalbey March 18, 2024
Adrian Jones, 7, was killed by his father -- Photo: Adrian Alexander Jones Forever/Facebook

The state of Kansas has agreed to pay $1 million to a woman who filed a lawsuit alleging child welfare officials were complicit in her 7-year-old son’s demise when the minor died while under the care of his father.  According to the New York Post, the settlement was announced on Wednesday. 

The deceased minor, identified as Adrian Jones, was killed by his father Michael Jones, 53, in 2015 following years of physical abuse. His body was subsequently fed to pigs. The deceased minor’s stepmother, Heather Jones, 38, was also accused of physically abusing him. The two adults were ultimately sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after they were convicted of the minor’s killing. 

The money was awarded to Adrian’s mother, Dianna Pearce, after she filed the lawsuits in Missouri as well as Kansas’ Department of Children and Families. Ten workers with Missouri’s Department of Social Services were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. The suit accused the defendants of opting to “act like disinterested bystanders” by not intervening when they were made aware of her son’s plight. In 2020, the suit in Missouri was settled for an undisclosed amount. 

“This has been a long journey for Adrian’s family,” the family’s lawyer, Matt Birch, said. “The most important thing for the family was to hopefully make a change and make this less likely to happen in the future.”

The case was set to go to trial in April 2025, but officials in Kansas ultimately agreed to settle. Child welfare officials in Kansas reportedly granted Jones full custody of his son after Pearce lost custody of the deceased 7-year-old. 

For months, little Adrian was physically abused and confined naked in a shower while under the care of his father and stepmother in Kansas City. The minor’s condition was also filmed. In November 2015, authorities ultimately found his body in a pigsty around a home where his father was staying after police responded to a domestic violence report. 

Records from the Kansas Department of Children and Families stated that the agency was notified about Adrian being physically assaulted. But officials could not establish any contact with the minor as well as his father and stepmother for almost four years before his killing as they frequently moved about in Missouri and Kansas, the New York Post reported.

The circumstances surrounding the 7-year-old’s death were the reason behind the passage of “Adrian’s Law.” The 2021 law directs child welfare workers to personally investigate a report of a child being allegedly subjected to physical abuse. Changes were also amended so doctors could get improved training in spotting abuse in children

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 18, 2024


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