Josiah Williams weighed less than 18kg when he died in the care of his stepmother.


In one of the most horrific child abuse cases, 5-year-old Josiah Williams died two days after Christmas in 2012. He was abused, neglected and malnourished. Texas woman, Crystal Williams, was handed a 99-year sentence, KENS 5 reports.

“Josiah’s cause of death is listed as ‘dehydration in a battered, underweight child’,” said Dr. Samantha Evans of the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office.

The boy’s mother Carlotta Balleza described the neglect best in a statement to the court.

“A child died in your care,” she said. “Dogs in the street are better mothers.”

Josiah was in the custody of his father, Charleston Williams, his stepmother and his step-grandmother, Gloria Proo.

Before she was sentenced, Williams, 31, told the jury in San Antonio that Josiah was so tiny because he was picky about his food.

“I even tried compromising with him,” she said. “Giving snacks or doughnuts, just so he would eat something.”

Investigators said it was immediately clear the child was a victim of abuse. He was malnourished, had two black eyes and cuts all over his body. Inside his mouth were deep gashes.

Samantha Evans from the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office was assigned the difficult task of performing an autopsy on Josiah’s body.

Dr Evans said it was immediately clear the boy was severely underweight.

“The young man was very thin in appearance where you could see lots of bone structures from the outside,” she said.

“He also had a number of injuries ranging from what appeared to be acute injuries, things that happened very recently, to wounds that were in the process of healing, as well as a number of scars beyond what we typically see in a five-year-old that comes through our office.”

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  • I don’t understand why the biological parents weren’t looking out for him? This is very sad.


  • The Father, Step Mother and Step Grandmother should all have been charged.
    I am wondering why the Mother didn’t have custody of her son…..Maybe she managed to escape violence while her husband was out with their son. Who knows!!! There has to be more to this story.


  • How distressing this is for me to read. As a mother whose children are all adults now I do not know why some people are given the privilege or opportunity to procreate with the outcome of abusing the very lives which have been set in their care. These situations where young lives only make it to a certain level because of neglect is heartbreaking and doesn’t have to be that way.
    I believe that God also in giving takes them away from these people because He can see the outcome of their lives and to allow that young boy or any child to be the bearer of any type of abuse in wicked and inexcusable. All I can say is dear Josiah, ‘rest in peace’, you are in the hands of the mighty creator who brought you into being and is now your eternal carer with the guarantee that all the love and care will be lavished upon your dear little soul. It makes me cry.


  • Cannot understand how anyone can hurt an innocent child. With all that is done these days for pets – why can’t children be afforded much better care?
    Since when is a dog higher in importance than a child?
    They doggie cafes, with doggiechinos, and doggie muffins as a norm – what happened to our kids?
    I just don’t get the world today.


  • What is this world coming to? These stories are coming up so often now.


  • I just dont get why we are hearing such stories almost on a daily basis. its so hard to believe that there are that many sick and hateful people out there. How could you ever harm another human or animal for that matter, in such a way as this?


  • This story really is not giving all the information I need. Did the birth/natural mother ever get to see Josiah and if so why did she not tell authorities what was happening. Also did this poor child ever go out side?? and if so did the neighbours ever see him in such a poor state?? So many questions why this poor defenceless child had to endure such torture. So easy to point the finger now and tell of abuse but really this should have never been aloud to go on for so long.
    RIP SWEET JOSIAH may the lord cradle you in his arms.
    And may those who hurt you never see the light of day.

    • Agree so many more details needed and why does say under the care of his step mother and not his father? Despicable regardless of who was inflicting the abuse and who was or wasn’t noticing.


  • Definitely distressing content. No child should endure abuse – sickening.


  • I hope that the father and step-grandmother get punished too.


  • This is really so sad that someone can do that to a child. I am glad she got 99 years sentence.


  • How can someone do this to a child that age. Was no one in the house eating if yes what was the issue feeding that little soul. How could have they even eat in front of him. What about dad. There is no mention of dad. It was not possible with out his involvement.


  • Maybe because she was the stepmother, she had some resentment against him, and was treating him very differently compared to her own kids. I don’t understand. :-(


  • Who the hell does that to another person? Let alone a defenceless child??


  • He would have been so defenceless. She deserved that sentence.


  • I don’t understand how people can do this. The poor child. you are free from pain now.
    My thoughts are with his mother


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