10 Year Old Girl Beaten and Starved By Her Adopted Family

17 (2)Thanks to one convenience store clerk refusing to look the other way, a case of horrendous child abuse was discovered, saving a 10 year old girl’s life.  When the little girl came into the store with a member of her adoptive family, the clerk noticed her sunken eyes, visible skeletal protrusions and gashes on her skin.  He also witnessed the woman being verbally abusive to the little girl.

I do not have the name of the clerk who made the call – but I would like to say this to him:

Thanks to you, your bravery and refusal to ignore a child in obvious distress, you have saved a life and become one little girl’s hero.  I greatly admire the way you contacted authorities and refused to allow this child’s abusers to get away with what they were doing.  Thank You from all of us here at Lighting Their Way Home.

Child Protective Services were informed of the situation and immediately phoned the police to request a welfare check be preformed.  When the police arrived at the little girl’s home, she was found to be extremely “emaciated”.  She appeared to have a bite wound in the process of healing and witnessed grossly exposed ribs.  Officials removed the girl from the home and took her back to the station.  At first, the little girl denied being abused or starved, and insisted her family was ‘nice’ and ‘fed her a lot’, regardless of the fact that they were under investigation for withholding food from the girl prior to this.  When the girl arrived at the station, she proceeded to scarf down tons of popcorn and pop tarts before asking for a sandwich.  It wasn’t long before she realized she was in a safe place and had a tummy full of food and began to reveal the atrocious details of the abuse she endured.  The little girl told police the woman burned her with cigarettes and beat her with cords, belts and wire.  The little girl was told that if she spoke of the abuse, her brothers would be taken away and separated.  (I have no information regarding the brothers, but will continue to dig and update information as I gather more.)  The woman stifled the girl’s screams by placing a rubber ball in her mouth.  At one point she claims the woman tried to drown her in the bath tub and then proceeded to threaten to kill her and dump her body in a lake.  The little girl told investigators she was locked out of the house and forced to sleep in a tent, when she was permitted to sleep in the house, she was forced to sleep in the bath tub.  Mazalic would take the young girl to restaurants, then refuse to allow the girl to eat.  When the girl was allowed to eat, Mazalic would put soap in her food and force her to put the filthy diapers, which the little girl was made to wear, on her head.

The little girl was taken to the hospital, were she was found to be weighing only 51 pounds.  Doctors noted ‘severe malnutrition’, as well as gashes and bruises leading them to believe she had been beaten.  Doctors also noted the girl had cigarette burns on her wrists and the tops of her feet.  The little girl was suffering from a kidney infection, and was covered with abrasions, scars and ulcers.  She remained in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and at one point was visited by her adoptive mother.  The mother told detectives the little girl looked no different than she usually did.  She tried to explain the girl’s physical condition by blaming it on fetal alcohol syndrome which she claims the girl took medication for and that was why she could not gain weight.  Fortunately doctors are usually pretty smart about these things and didn’t give that story credit for a single moment and pointed out that the little girl had been gaining weight quickly and steadily while in the hospital.

The little girl had only been with her adopted family for a year, and what a year it must have been to have done the damage which was done to the little girl.  Detectives made a note that everyone else living in the home appears to be well fed, including their overweight dog.

Mary Mazalic

Mary Mazalic

The woman arrested for assaulting and neglecting the little girl is Mary Mazalic.  She is being held on a $500,000.00 bail.  It is said that she is the little girl’s adoptive brother’s girlfriend.

A shocking piece of information, the couple has been investigated for like crimes in the past.  In 2009 they were investigated for child abuse when a 16 year old boy pleaded with authorities to not return him to the home and keep him locked up at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center because of the severe abuse he had to endure in the home.  The couple admitted to only feeding the boy slop and making him sleep in a tent in the backyard, BUT THE COURTS RETURNED HIM ANYWAY.

I truly believe the criteria and protocol at Child Protective Services Offices all over North America need a good looking into.  How is it that there are so many children put in homes where they are tortured, abused, neglect and even murdered?  Being a foster parent is a very noble thing to do, and I do understand that the vast majority of foster parents are wonderful, loving people, that truly make all the difference in a child’s world.  I just keep thinking that the criteria a foster parent must meet to be a foster parent needs an overhaul.  NO ONE under suspicion of child abuse, or under investigation for circumstances surrounding a child should be allowed anywhere near another foster child.

In November of 2012, Mary Mazlic was convicted of first degree assault of a child, criminal mistreatment and witness tampering and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the horrific torture of a 10 year old girl.  Jurors allowed the judge to impose more than the maximum jail time for the crime Mazlic was convicted of, adding 18 years onto the sentence.  To those jurors, thank you for deciding enough is enough and pushed to begin punishing child abusers the way they should be punished.  This beautiful girl, now 11, sat in the court room as the verdict was read with her new foster mother and father beside her.  The foster mother, Jenger Avellaneda, whom took in the little girl after her abuse was made public, called what happened to her foster daughter as barbaric.  “You belittled her, you humiliated her and you tortured her,” said Jenger. “Her scars on her body, they won’t ever heal and she deserves justice.”  I for one, am relieved that this young lady finally has someone to support her, stand up for her and protect her the way she deserves to be protected.

More information is coming to light regarding the entirety of this case, and it just seems to keep getting worse and worse.

The monsters responsible for the abuse and torture of this little girl need to be brought to justice.  Every … Single … One.  This little girl is clearly a fighter, and while these people may have broken her physically, they could never break her spirit and courageous soul.  This little girl has taken a stand, a stand that I feel privileged and honored to even know about.  She decided that she wasn’t going to let these people get away with what they had done to her, and so she talked.  She talked and talked for as long as authorities listened, and in the end, the entire situation became clear.  This little girl suffered, she suffered every hour of every day that she was in the care of these people, and the abuse they thrust upon her.  Now she is fighting back.  By talking, she is requiring our judicial system to hold every person who ever laid a finger on her, be held responsible for their actions.

Derron Alexis

Derron Alexis

It turns out that Mazalic was just the beginning in a list of people that abused this little girl.  Derron Alexis, the little girl’s adoptive brother, and Mazalic’s boyfriend, joined in the torture of this little girl on a regular basis.  Alexis would beat the girl with a wire and belt, and taunt the starving girl by eating food in front of her, and never allowing her to eat as well.  As this little girl lay in the hospital, finally allowing her body a chance at beginning to heal, the severity of her abuse only became more present as her wounds healed and the hundreds of scars that she will have for the rest of her life began to show.  At one point in time, the lawyers in Mazalic’s case had actually considered using Alexis as a witness.  However midway through the trial he was suddenly assigned his own attorney after concerns arose that he may want to invoke his right to remain silent so as to not possibly incriminate himself if he was later charged.  It quickly became clear that he needed that attorney.  The little girl not only described the abuse she suffered at the hands of Alexis, but also stated that he was present when Mazalic was abusing her, and would just watch the abuse take place.  The little girl did not come forward with the details of her abuse regarding her brother earlier, because she cared for him and saw him as part of her family.  Imagine that, even after this monster tortured her, starved her and failed to protect her, she still had the compassion to care about him, and consider him family.  After all he did tell Mazalic to feed her from time to time and would occasionally feed her “bad oatmeal” himself.  What a hero …  Could you only imagine what this world would be like if we all were a little bit more like this girl, if we all showed each other a little more compassion, dare I say this world would be a MUCH better place…  When the girl was in the hospital after being rescued, she had some special visitors.  Alexis and his mother stopped by, but not to see how she was doing as I’m sure you already surmised, but rather to threaten the girl, telling her she better not tell authorities anything bad about Alexis.  Alexis’ mother was the one responsible for placing this little girl in the care of Alexis and Mazalic (I think some more charges should be handed out for this lady .. guess we’ll wait and see.).  After school officials where the mother lived informed her that the girl needed to be placed in special education classes, she decided to move the girl in with Alexis and Mazalic.  She wanted the girl to be enrolled in mainstream classes, and so Mazalic and Alexis enrolled her in fourth grade in Mukilteo without informing the school of her needs.  Alexis stated that he was involved with the girls disciplining ( REALLY?), and was familiar with her eating schedule (DID I REALLY JUST TYPE THAT??).  What eating schedule?? She was never fed!  My oldest son is in fourth grade, and let me assure any of you out there who do not have a child this age, their ‘feeding schedule’ is more of a every hour feeding.  Typically parents feed their children no less than 6 times a day, NOT A MONTH!  You have breakfast, then morning snack, then lunch, then afternoon snack, then after school snack, then supper, than after soccer game or hockey game or ball game (you get the idea) snack.  That is 7 times a day!  Don’t get me wrong, monitoring a child’s intake of food is a part of parenting, but before you concern yourself with the quantity of food, you ensure the quality of food.  If one of my sons decides he wants to eat 4 apples in one day, then I say go for it.  My children are kept physically active, which REQUIRES them to intake good, healthy food in amounts that support their nourishment and growth.  This is not something that is difficult to do.  How hard is it to scramble a couple of eggs and slice up an orange for her in the morning?  I somehow manage pancakes with sausage and fruit salad, all before 8 AM!, and that is nothing compared to some of the parents at my children’s school!  I will end my rant now, but one last thought before I do … When my 5 year old comes to me and tells me that he is still hungry even after eating a banana, a cup of yogurt and a bunch of almonds for a snack, I instinctively reach for another banana, because I don’t want to have his tummy growling … so what kind of human could possibly ignore this little girl’s hunger? And I’m done.

Back to Alexis, this guy just keeps getting better and better.  Apparently he told authorities that when his mother had sent the little girl to live with him and Mazalic, she had also sent along medication that the girl needed to take.  When the medication ran out, they took her to see a doctor to get the prescription refilled …. Oh, wait, no they didn’t!  They instead gave her medication prescribed to another person.  Also, initially, when Alexis told authorities that he worked nights, and was often home during the day, he got caught in a lie.  Guess what, Mazalic received state disability assistance and needed a caregiver in her home.  Alexis was listed as that caregiver had actually previously stated that he was with Mazalic at all times.  Even worse, a state welfare worker had no idea the girl was even living in the house and never met her.  Had the state worker known about the girl, let alone learn that the girl was being allowed to be alone with Mazalic, she would never have allowed it because in her opinion “Ms. Mazalic did not have the patience to be around children”.  On the day authorities were called to do a welfare check on the girl, Mazalic had been in a plus size clothing store purchasing a new bathing suit for a cruise.  A cruise she and Alexis went on while the little girl was recovering from their abuse in a hospital bed.

Mazalic has been judged, found guilty, and sentenced.  Now, we wait for the same for Alexis, who is now awaiting trial, charged with first degree criminal mistreatment, also accused of beating the girl, and withholding food and medical attention.

In November of 2013, Alexis was convicted of criminal mistreatment and unlawful imprisonment, and in early December, he was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison.  Hardly close to enough if you ask me.  Alexis actually stated that the only way he failed the little girl, was that she was not comfortable talking to him about “issues”.  He stated that he never even wanted the girl in his home, as though this somehow excuses the torture and abuse he and Mazlic forced upon this little girl every day.  This sentence is offensive, and just kills another piece of faith I had in our judicial system holding these monsters accountable for all they have done to harm a child.  I hope their fellow inmates learnt that they are in prison for beating and starving a little girl – once again, jail house justice will probably prevail as receiving more justice for the girl than what our judicial system has sought.  It is a sad world we live in when we provide those who attack and harm our children with more rights than we give to their victims, our children.

The little girl is now 13 years old.  She has been in the same foster home as she was put in after the discovery of her horrific abuse and is thriving.  Her foster parents are going through the process to adopt the girl.  They say that while she will forever have to deal with the memories and scars, she is moving forward.  It is comforting to know that she is now in a home filled with love.




~ by LTWH on February 6, 2012.


  1. it’s horrifying what happened to the little girl, by these monsters. I’m happy for her that she is now in a place she can call home, and feel what it like to have a true loving family.

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