There are despicable parents and then there is Shawn Wayne Hughes, a 32-year-old Kingsport, Tenn. man, accused of trying to guilt his girlfriend Jessica April Carey's grandmother into giving him the $1,500 bail money to get Carey out of jail after she was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and neglect. When that did not work, he offered to sell her his 6-year-old daughter. For $1,500.
It is unclear whether the child Carey is accused of abusing is the same child Hughes offered to sell, but what is clear here is that the children in the house are not being treated well. Police recorded the conversation in which he offered to sell his daughter. Pretty damning evidence if you ask me. As the mother of a beautiful 6-year-old girl myself, my heart just breaks at this.
Honestly, maybe she would have been better off, though. The reality is, he was offering to sell her to the grandmother who ultimately turned him in so clearly she knew it was wrong. She obviously has enough money to be the one Hughes would turn to. And she has enough moral code to know to turn him in.
It's impossible to tell from such a short story, but it does seem like maybe she would be the better choice for this poor little girl.
It is so unfair that some children get to be raised in loving homes, feeling wanted and well cared for, while other are raised in this way. What happens to kids like this? I think we all know. I think we all know they end up trying to sell their own kids some day. Or worse.
This is the heart of why child abuse is so egregious and evil. Ruining a person's childhood is often akin to ruining them. Not many people come back strong from awful childhoods. It happens, of course. But what happens far MORE often is that children repeat their parent's mistakes, feel terribly unwanted, and hate their lives.
This is the kind of story you read and never forget. In 15 years, I will still wonder about this poor little girl and where she ended up. I hope someone, somewhere can help her have a childhood where she feels safe, with guardians who value and love her.
Of course, that is overly optimistic. But I hope.
Do you think kids come back from these kinds of things?
Image via borman818/Flickr