Virginia Parents Accused of Murder, Keeping Starving Child in Cage

Starving daughter of Brian and Shannon Gore ate own skin, say police

ByABC News
May 4, 2011, 2:46 PM

May 4, 2011 — -- Two Virginia parents are being held today without bail in Gloucester County jail cells, still larger than the tiny cage police say they used to imprison their young daughter, feeding her so little she was forced to eat her own skin.

Brian and Shannon Gore are awaiting trial for the attempted murder of the 5- or 6-year-old girl as well as murder, after police found the body of another child buried on their property a day after discovering the severely malnourished girl.

The couple appeared in a Gloucester County criminal court Wednesday morning where they refused bond and did not enter pleas.

The couple were arrested Thursday, when police knocking on doors during a robbery investigation stumbled upon the caged little girl, naked and covered in feces and bed sores.

Cops returned Friday and after searching a shack near the couple's trailer home, unearthed the remains of a small child. Police have yet to confirm that child's age, sex or cause of death.

Authorities are still awaiting the autopsy report in the child's death, said commonwealth attorney Robert Hicks.

In addition to the caged girl, whose age police estimate at 5 or 6, police removed a healthy 2-month-old infant. Both children were placed in protective custody.

The caged girl, whom the Gores told police was only 2-years-old, was extremely malnourished and according to Brian Gore, 29, was fed a single Pop-Tart in the morning and another Pop-Tart or sandwich at night, said Maj. Darrell Warren of the Gloucester County Sheriff's Office.

She was so hungry her bones were visible and she ate her own flaking dried skin, Warren confirmed.

Brian Gore told police the caged girl had been born at home and did not have birth certificate, Warren said. He told police the girl had Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

According to court documents, the girl's cage was constructed from a crib and Gore told police she had been there since last summer.

Prosecutor Robert Hicks called it "just the most horrible child abuse case" and said following today's preliminary hearing the case would go to the grand jury.

The couple, who were married in 2008, will enter pleas following the grand jury hearing.

"I am 100 percent sure Shannon will plead not guilty," said her lawyer Ron Smith.

Smith said Shannon Gore was not talking to police and would not disclose the content of conversations he had with his client.

He said "the general public has already convicted her" and said he would likely ask that any trial be moved out of Gloucester County.

Tim Clancy, the lawyer for Brian Gore, did not return calls.