Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Adoptive Mother Charged with Murder of Adopted Children

A woman with several adopted children has been charged with murder.

Avantae Deven, the adoptive mother of London and Blake Deven, was arrested and taken into custody on Wednesday and will be facing murder charges, along with other charges in connection to their deaths.

According to Kemberle Braden, the Fayetteville Police Chief, they have found evidence that suggests both London and Blake are diseased. He also said their adoptive mother is the one who abused them and that that ultimately resulted in their deaths.

blake deven
Blake in 2012, with an age-progressed photo depicting what he might look like today

She has been charged with two counts of concealment of death, two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony child abuse, and one count of kidnapping. She is currently being held at the detention center in Cumberland County.

According to police, Deven also tried to throw off the detectives’ investigation by fabricating several stories.

Sergeant Jeff Locklear, the lead investigator of the case, said Deven initially told them that Blake was in the mountains for a Buddhist retreat.

Officials said she did not report Blake missing until earlier this year. He was last seen at a Walmart in 2022 on Ramsey Street. His adoptive sibling, London Deven, hasn’t been seen since 2019.

Disappearance of Blake Deven

In November 2023, police responded to a call about someone having a mental health crisis. The individual was living in a house on Berridale Drive – the same house where Deven resided with her adopted children.

It was later revealed that the individual having the crisis was Blake’s brother. He told police he hadn’t seen his brother in five years and that the last time he did, he had a broken arm.

avantae deven
The children’s adoptive mother, Avantae Deven, is currently facing murder charges, along with other charges

The officer confirmed five minors lived at the house, all of whom had been adopted. The children included three biologically related boys and two girls who were unrelated.

The children were subsequently interviewed by the police and the Department of Social Services, to which they talked about the ‘horrific treatment’ they received at the house.

According to the children, they were all kept in a small, dark room and were given ‘little to no food.’ They also explained that the little food that they received had to be earned by apologizing for their behavior.

Several of the children were also beaten to the point of requiring medical treatment. One detective said Blake likely died as a result of starvation and the numerous beatings he received. Following his death, his body was burnt and disposed of.

Evidence of this was discovered by officers at the house. Forensic evidence also supported the allegations of starvation, torture, and isolation.

Disappearance of London Deven

Officials found out about London Deven’s death while looking into Blake’s case.

During their investigation, they discovered a metal burn barrel that contained the remains of two minors. They determined the bodies were that of a boy between the age of 7 and 10 and a teenage girl between the age of 15 and 19.

london deven
London Deven, who had special needs, was last seen in 2019

The remains were later brought to a lab for testing; they were later confirmed to be those of London Deven.

Police determined that London died in a similar way as Blake, due to neglect, abuse, and starvation. According to interviews with the other children, someone in the house was forced to participate in disposing her body.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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