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Foster Mom Charged With Murdering Adopted Children -- Dismembered Remains Found In Barrel

Foster Mom Charged With Murdering Adopted Children -- Dismembered Remains Found In Barrel

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A foster mother in North Carolina has been charged with the incredibly disturbing murders of two of her adopted children. Brace yourselves for this one…

Avantae Deven (pictured above, center, in her mugshot) was charged this week by law enforcement officials in Fayetteville, North Carolina after one of her other foster children came forward. The minor realized they hadn’t seen their siblings for years and contacted authorities to report the suspicious disappearances of Blake and London Deven.

Blake (above, bottom right, via FPD handout) was last seen by his foster brother in 2022, when he was approximately 15 years old. And the daughter London (above, top left), who was several years younger at the time of her disappearance, hadn’t been definitively seen by anyone since 2019. Whoa. Cops in Cumberland County say Avantae didn’t report either child missing after their last confirmed sightings — and only finally reported it THIS YEAR following her foster son’s tip-off!

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After the foster brother first called police about Blake and London’s prolonged absences, cops showed up at Avantae’s house to question her. She initially told officers Blake “was possibly at a Buddhist retreat in the mountains,” according to a press conference delivered by Sergeant Jeff Locklear late last week. Cops were obviously suspicious of that excuse, so they dug in deeper. And what they found was HORRIFYING.

For one, officers looked at all the homes in which the family had lived over the last few years. Per WRAL, they found evidence of human remains at several of them!! The worst of those discoveries, by far, was a metal “burn” barrel that held the remains of two distinct individuals: a girl thought to have died as a teenager, and a boy who died anywhere from between 7 and 10 years old. The medical examiner even determined the bodies were purposely dismembered before being stuffed into the barrel.


Apparently police found evidence of Blake. Lab tests later positively identified the body of the deceased girl as London. Investigators came to believe the young girl, who had special needs according to her surviving foster siblings, died of starvation and neglect. According to WRAL, testing is still ongoing on the identity of the third child, the little boy found in the barrel alongside her.

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In addition to the burn barrel discovery, cops also uncovered living conditions inside the Deven home they believe likely led to Blake’s death as well. The deceased had been among five adopted children belonging to Avantae, as well at least one aforementioned foster child. Cops claim Avantae kept all of her children in deplorable living conditions. They were all stuffed in a small, dark room and given little to no food. They were often beaten to the point of needing medical attention, too. But instead of being offered access to doctors, Sergeant Locklear says the kids were “only offered natural cures like honey.” Upon interrogation, the surviving children also told cops they could “earn” food by writing papers apologizing for their bad behavior.


In last week’s press conference, Sergeant Locklear and Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West announced that forensic evidence in at least one of the Deven family homes has uncovered indications of torture, starvation, and isolation. Cops have also chillingly indicated that they believe one of the surviving children was made to participate in the disposal of London’s body in that burn barrel. No…

DA West said at the press conference:

“All of us have soft spots for children and cases with children are the most difficult that we deal with. The fact that this involves allegations of the abuse in the death of children was certainly the thing that grabbed my attention first, particularly the manner in which the allegations suggest the way they died.”

No kidding… You can watch more about the case (below):

As we noted up top, Avantae’s latest court appearance shown in that video saw her officially charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She is also facing charges of kidnapping, felony child abuse, and concealment of death. She is currently being held without bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center. Per WRAL, she could face the death penalty if convicted on the murder charges alone.

If you have sincere cause to suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to

[Image via Fayetteville Police Department]

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Jul 02, 2024 14:46pm PDT