Tramelle Sturgis was a ten year old boy from South Bend, Indiana; a boy that deserved a future and should have lived a full life, but that life was cut short at the hands of his own family. Now he’s a headline in a disturbing and truly heartbreaking case of a system’s failure. Tied up and beaten with a club by his own father for hours, this little boy could not endure this horrible abuse. Tramelle suffered numerous injuries, both old and new, including a broken arm and leg and multiple bruises all over his body, some fresh, others in various stages of healing. His exact cause of death has yet to be determined, but my guess is internal bleeding and blunt force trauma.
His father, Terry Sturgis, has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of felony battery. His grandmother, Dellia Castile, is charged with three counts of felony neglect of a dependent. Terry Sturgis was living with his mother, Dellia, and his five children, including Tramelle. Apparently Grandma Dellia was A-Okay with her son’s beat down parenting techniques and refused to step in and stop the abuse he was doling out to not only Tramelle, but also Tramelle’s siblings.
Now, it’s bad enough that this child was beaten to death and had been abused for a long time before hand, but what makes it even more tragic is that the abuse Tramelle had been suffering had been reported, not only to the Department of Child Services, but also to police. DCS visited the home, but I guess they never heard that appearances can be deceiving and determined everything was honky dory, when in fact it was not. It appears case workers have yet to realize how incredibly crafty abusive parents and guardians can be.
You’d think by now with all the cases popping up all over of abused, neglected and murdered children, they would get the hint and start digging a little deeper during these home visits to check out tips of abuse. Not only did they get the tip about what was going on in the Sturgis’ home, but they got a detailed description of the injuries and abuse from an anonymous caller, who not only spent 20 minutes on the DCS hotline describing what Tramelle was going through, but practically begging for someone to come and help.
According to reports, the anonymous caller pleaded, “Please go tonight. Please go. I’m not saying this just to be saying this. Please go. Something has got to be done.” The caller goes on to say, “If they go there right now, they’ll see how them kids is beat if they go there right now because I don’t want it to get on the news and see the boy died and then everybody come forward and they gonna say, ‘Well, why did nobody come forward from before?” And whoever the anonymous caller was, they were absolutely right. After Tramelle’s death, his father’s cousin, Denise Ervin, and her son, Theodore, say they didn’t see this coming, but later admit to the signs being there.
This boy never stood a chance and the failure of the system and his own family to protect him is just unacceptable. That a stranger can care more for a child’s wellbeing than their own flesh and blood does is so disheartening and sad in a way that there really are no words for. It is utterly pathetic that in this day in age a child isn’t safe even from their own family. May this precious child rest in peace and get the justice he deserves.
A “Thank You” shout out to Deena for the heads up on another stellar example of a craptastic procreator.
** Special thanks to Booboo Kitty for the write-up.**