law enforcement they say one of the hardest things to investigate
is the death of a young child. Easily images of nieces and nephews,
sons and daughters come to mind bringing the life and dreams of
spirited youth to the investigators imagination. Innocence so cruelly
snuffed out. Sorrow as thick as the earth’s crust surrounding
those who loved and cared for the child, swallowing up those with
heart and humanity and spitting them into a world of darkness and
Young Kayla Allen was once one of those spirited children whose
life spread to those around her like a soft breeze through sheer
lace-covered curtains moving gently around an open window, a contagious
laugh, a beaming smile. She was made of pixie-dust and fairy-tale
Kayla’s life ended tragically and mysteriously. The mystery
isn’t so much about what happened but how it happened. No
one is talking much except her blood relatives. No one is saying
much at all.
When Kayla was born to her young mother she entered a world full
of love. She was her mother’s little baby and more than anything
Kayla’s mother, Nicole, wanted to care for her best she could.
Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding Nicole’s life
made that desire hard to fulfill.
Nicole soon made the difficult decision to give her child to her
brother and his wife early on because Nicole found it impossible
to raise her all alone and begin her career in the Marine Corps.
Boot camp makes no accommodations for small, little children.
So Nicole’s brother and wife begin to care for little Kayla.
Raising her as their own child. Kayla is still in the “family”
so-to-speak, still getting cards at Christmas from her Grandma and
others who love her. Still being seen and loved by those kinfolk.
Kayla’s life is fairly uneventful. Raised in a house with
other children, going to school, swimming, dancing, running barefoot
in the yard chasing fireflies in the quiet community of Richlands,
North Carolina. For all intent and purpose a seemingly normal kid
in a normal family.
Soon the custody is official and papers were signed, all rights
had been transferred from Nicole to her brother and his wife. Little
by little the family begins a downward spiral. Separation and divorce,
arguments and violence, things began to crumble. Harsh discipline
becomes more of a norm in Kayla’s life rather than a rare
moment of ill tempered, poor judgment.
Kayla stays at home with her uncle’s ex-wife, her “mom-aunt”,
the woman who helped to raise her, her legal guardian, Carolyn Langford-Ochoa-Allen.
(Now remarried and her last name is currently Futrell) It is uncertain
how Kayla lived from this point. We will never know how many fireflies
she caught on those grassy lawns after the family broke up.
What we do know is that Kayla’s grandmother became aware of
some serious bruises on Kayla’s small underweight body. photos
of bruises The bruises were serious enough to cause her grandmother
to take Kayla from North Carolina to Michigan where the grandmother
Taking a child without permission is kidnapping, even if it is done
so by a family member and even if the family member is doing it
In June 2002 charges were filed against the grandmother, Kayla was
returned back to the home she was taken from and so began the sorrowful
events that make up this mystery. Even though the police report
in Michigan recorded Kayla’s testimony of abuse she was still
sent back into that home. police
report one police
Kayla’s aunt, Heather Baker, wanted to adopt Kayla. Heather
had already been a foster parent in the past and had proven herself
to be a fit and caring mother, yet she was unable to gain custody
away from Ms. Futrell.
Time passes, mostly with arguments in courts, with judges, attorneys
and the Department of Social Services about Kayla and Kayla’s
rights. The struggle wore on the little girl and she took solace
best she could. Children are like that. Adaptive and flexible. Adults
are demanding and rigid, each side wanting Kayla.
By the summer of 2003, about a year from the time Kayla was brought
back down to North Carolina from Michigan, Kayla’s “mom-aunt”
Carolyn Langford-Ochoa-Allen-Futrell begins the final process for
adopting Kayla. The adoption supposedly goes through in June of
Kayla spends her summer on vacation and enjoying herself best she
can in her isolated world. Not too much is known about this period
of her life except that on August 24th, 2003 she was dead.
Less than 2 months short of her 8th birthday, Kayla is sent to bed
because it has been reported that Kayla was feeling ill and feverish.
Soon after putting her down, she was discovered unconscious, with
blood on her face, lips, and pillow where she had vomited up some
of the contents of her stomach. Kayla supposedly drank a poisonous
cocktail of water and a powerful commercial grade insecticide. Atroban,
the insecticide, is to be diluted to one part Atroban per 1,600
parts of water or one ounce per 12.5 gallons. prior to use on livestock.
This is the recommended dosage for use on livestock., not children.
If my math is correct converting milliliters to ounces, Kayla consumed
more than 3 ounces (two shot glasses full) of the poison. Enough
to soak, not spritz but soak, 25 head of cattle if diluted and used
Some of the reports vary in exact detail but the autopsy of little
Kayla revealed troubling circumstances. First the “cocktail”
was in a generic plastic water bottle hidden under Kayla’s
pillow. Second the amount, of this vile tasting petroleum based
product, was doubtfully swallowed voluntarily because of the instinctive
gag reflex action anytime something so sinister enters ones mouth.
That and the fact that even when the substance is touched with the
bare skin it burns and can cause blisters. This product is extremely
dangerous and is only available in specialty farmer’s supply
stores and catalogues. It is not something the general public is
even aware of due to its potential for environmental toxicity. Thirdly,
with the knowledge of the gag reflex and the burning once the product
is introduced to the skin why would Kayla not cry out for help if
she did this herself by some sort of accident? Instead we are asked
to believe she hid the bottle and quietly went to sleep, dying with
out a noticeable fuss.
This is where the train gets going around the track a little too
fast. Not only is Kayla dead but on November 21, 2003, Kayla’s
grandmother in Michigan, the one who was charged with kidnapping,
committed suicide. She had promised to Kayla she would never let
anything bad ever happen to her again. She was so convinced that
Kayla’s life was in danger back a year prior that she risked
her own freedom to rescue her granddaughter from the home Kayla
ultimately died in. Kayla’s grandmother felt she failed little
Kayla, not knowing it was the system that failed.
The Onslow County Department of Social Services leads the state
with children dying while on their watch. Repeated failures in the
system have sent children back to abusive homes to later be found
murdered. Kayla’s death has not even been included in those
numbers yet because she has not been officially listed as a victim
of a homicide. story of another
child killed in Onslow County
How are we to believe this was anything other than a homicide?
So now we want to know who did it right? Who killed Kayla? Was it
intentional? Why was it done? Will they do it again to another person
someday? And are they going to get away with it?
A segment of a community in Jacksonville, North Carolina is beginning
to lose patience with the District Attorneys Office. Faithfully
the aunt Heather, birth mother Nicole as well as friends of Kayla’s
and sympathizers post in the local newspaper’s internet forum
(http://www.enctoday.com) various suppositions and theories, as
well as offer support to each other’s activism on Kayla’s
Hopefully this mystery will soon be solved but in the meantime people
are demanding answers and cling to visions of a spirited little
blond haired girl chasing fireflies on a warm summer evening, barefoot
and giggling, innocent and with a future full of promise.
ARRESTED MAY 20, 2004
RELEASE FROM ONSLOW COUNTY
County Sheriff’s Office
News Release Update
May 20, 2004 (11 AM)
MURDER ARREST IN CHILD HOMICIDE OF 2003
Arrestee: Carolyn Futrell W/F – 33 yoa
333 Futrell Loop Rd
Felony Child Abuse
Bond: Not Allowed
Victim: Kayla Allen W/F – 7yoa This morning approximately
8:15 AM, May 20, 2004, Carolyn Ann Futrell was arrested for murder
in the homicide of her 7-year-old stepdaughter Kayla Allen, which
occurred on August 24, 2003. Detective Tom Robinson was assigned
the investigation on that day. Detective Robinson has worked with
Assistant District Attorney Ernie Lee and Mike Maultsby for the
last 9 months on this case. Many other government officials and
private sector officials have also been involved in this investigation.
On Monday, May 17, 2004 Detective Robinson received a major piece
of evidence in this murder. Yesterday May 19, 2004, Detective
Robinson spent more than 4 hours presenting his investigative
evidence to District Attorney Dewey Hudson, Ernie Lee, Mike Maultsby
and myself. The District Attorney’s Office and I were completely
convinced Detective Robinson presented a clear case of murder
against Carolyn Ann Futrell for the death of Kayla Allen. The
method of murder was an insecticide poison imploded into the body
of 7-year-old Kayla Allen.
On Sunday morning at 11:13 AM on August 24, 2003 Onslow County
Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to 333 Futrell
Loop Rd to investigate the suspicious death of 7-year-old Kayla
Allen. Evidence Technicians and Detectives also responded as Onslow
County Sheriff’s Office policy requires. Kayla Allen was
immediately transported by Onslow EMS to Onslow Memorial Hospital.
While searching the residence at 333 Futrell Loop Road where Kayla
died they discovered a suspicious liquid in Kayla’s bedroom.
The suspicious liquid was out of eyes view. Other suspicious items
were also retrieved during the search. On Monday, August 25, 2003
an autopsy was conducted by the medical examiner at Onslow Memorial
Hospital. During that autopsy it was discovered that Kayla’s
stomach was filled with a liquid that had the same odor as the
liquid found in Kayla’s bedroom. Since the autopsy Detective
Robinson has step-by-step meticulously investigated this case.
Detective Robinson has not allowed emails or any other influences
to distract his focus. That was clear in his presentation yesterday.
Poison killed young girl
May 21, 2004
DAILY NEWS STAFF
The guardian of a 7-year-old girl was charged with murder Thursday
by Onslow County investigators for allegedly poisoning the child
Carolyn Futrell, 33, of Futrell Loop Road in Richlands, was taken
into custody on charges of felony child abuse and murder by sheriff's
deputies following a nine-month investigation into the death of
Kayla Yvonne Allen.
Futrell had a first court appearance Thursday afternoon and was
being held in Onslow County Jail without bond, Sheriff Ed Brown
Investigators spent months trying to piece together evidence in
order to make an arrest in connection with the death that took
place Aug. 24. On Monday, Detective Tom Robinson received additional
toxicology reports that authorities viewed as a "key piece
of evidence in this murder," Brown said in a written release.
On Tuesday, Robinson spent four hours presenting the details of
the case to assistant district attorneys Ernie Lee and Mike Maultsby,
"The District Attorney's Office and I were completely convinced
Detective Robinson presented a clear case of murder against Carolyn
Ann Futrell for the death of Kayla Allen," Brown said.
Allen has lived with Futrell since she was 2 years old. At the
time, Futrell was married to the brother of Kayla's biological
mother, Nicole Allen of Jacksonville. When Kayla was 5, her uncle
divorced Futrell, who remained Kayla's legal guardian, said Heather
Baker of Trenton, Mich., during an interview in August. Baker
is Kayla's biological aunt.
"My sister was young and trying to get her life together.
It was a temporary situation that turned into a permanent one,"
Baker said. She added that Allen's parental rights were terminated
in April 2003.
Brown said authorities were first called to Futrell Loop Road
at about 11:13 a.m. Aug. 24 to investigate Kayla's death. Brown
said that while searching the residence, a suspicious liquid was
discovered in a water bottle.
An autopsy was done on Kayla Aug. 25 at Onslow Memorial Hospital
by Dr. William Kelly, an Onslow County medical examiner.
According to Kelly's report, Kayla had a recent history of cold
symptoms and was taking Robitussin and Dimetapp. She went to bed
at about 10:15 a.m. and an hour later was unresponsive.
"There was no physical cause of death," Kelly said in
an interview in February. "At that point we were suspicious
that what was in her stomach was some kind of pesticide or some
organic something. We could tell because of the smell."
The liquid in a water bottle found under Kayla's pillow was similar
to her stomach contents, according to Kelly's report.
Evidence was sent to the state's toxicology lab in Chapel Hill
following the autopsy, but it took the state nearly five months
to complete the toxicology report.
Dr. John Butts, the state's chief medical examiner, said one reason
for the delay was due to the type of poison that was being tested.
"Our lab is set up to do certain things," Butt said
in an interview in March. "When other substances are suspected,
we have to work out a special procedure. Since it wasn't a standard
test, it required a special procedure."
Once the toxicology was completed, it was determined that Kayla
died from ingesting a pesticide known as Atroban. Atroban is used
to keep insects off cattle and sheep. It is generally not found
inside a residence, Robinson said.
Once the medical examiner's report was completed, Robinson worked
with several agencies throughout the state, including poison and
"There were a lot of variables that needed to be checked,"
Robinson said. "There were things that we had never seen
before. We needed assistance from outside agencies. The poison
that was used needed a lot of outside researching."
The nine-month delay in making an arrest was tough on Kayla's
biological family. Baker said she suspected abuse several years
ago. She eventually acted on her suspicions and contacted the
Onslow County Department of Social Services.
"I have reports from them that say it didn't meet the legal
definition of abuse is what the paper said," Baker said.
"They wouldn't be investigating it."
Officials with Department of Socials Services couldn't be reached
In December 2002, Kayla's biological grandmother, Diane Goike,
was arrested by Jacksonville police and charged with second-degree
kidnapping because she took Kayla to her home in Taylor, Mich.,
in June 2002 without Futrell's permission.
According to a Taylor Police Department report, Goike brought
Kayla to Michigan because she discovered bruises all over her
Goike showed police investigators bruises on Kayla's face, arms
and buttocks, according to the police report.
"We asked the victim what caused her bruises. The victim
said that her Aunt-Mom Carolyn had spanked her butt with a spatula
a couple of days ago. The victim then told us that Carolyn had
banged her head on the dresser in the bedroom," the report
According to the report, Kayla was described as thin for her age.
Her ribs were visible when her shirt was off and Kayla "appeared
fearful when she spoke about her guardian Carolyn."
After a week in foster care in Michigan, Kayla was returned to
Futrell. The charges against Goike were eventually dismissed.
She died in December 2003, Baker said.
Following the incident and up until Kayla's death, Baker said,
she continually contacted Onslow County DSS with concerns that
Kayla was being abused. She contacted the Sheriff's Department.
She sent letters to judges in Onslow County. She started the process
of trying to adopt her niece.
"I just pray that justice is done," Baker said in August.
"Kayla was a happy, beautiful little girl."
Allen, 26, who hadn't seen Kayla since September 2002, spent much
of Thursday in shock that an arrest was made in connection with
her daughter's death. She was wearing a T-shirt with Kayla's picture
at age 6 imprinted on the front.
Allen tries to focus on the memories she has of Kayla, who had
just started second grade at Richlands Primary School when she
died. She described her as a tomboy who liked soccer and cheerleading.
Allen keeps a vivid picture in her mind of the blue-eyed youngster,
dressed in pink ballerina attire, pretending to fish off of the
"She was a bundle of joy and brought life to so many people,"
Allen said fighting back tears. "She always was an angel
and always will be." Contact Roselee Papandrea at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 353-1171, Ext. 238.
ALLEN'S AUTOPSY REPORT
network fighting for Kayla from the begining
of Hope, an organization that buys media attention that has been
listen to .mp3 format of shows talking about the Kayla Allen murder.
Click below, broadband is suggested.
SHOW April 17
SHOW April 3
several advocates for reform in the Onslow County Department of
Social Services system of child protection walked in remembrance
of Kayla Allen. Kayla was poisoned in August while in DSS care.
Poison Killed Kayla Allen
commercial grade pesticide Atroban was found in Kayla Allen's
stomach. It does not look like water nor does it taste like water.
ANGEL STANDS WATCH OVER KAYLA'S
THERE IS A MEDAL AROUND
THE ANGEL'S NECK SUPPOSEDLY
BELONGING TO KAYLA.
IS BURIED IN A FUTRELL FAMILY
GRAVESITE LESS THAN A HALF MILE
WHERE SHE WAS KILLED
DIED IN THIS HOUSE
TOOK PLACE IN THE BACK SWAMP
COMMUNITY NEAR RICHLANDS,
IN PEACE LITTLE MISS KAYLA
Storage and Disposal
Do not contaminate water, food or feed by storage or disposal.
Storage: Store in cool, dry place away from heat or open flame.
Pesticide Disposal: Pesticide wastes are acutely hazardous. Improper
disposal of excess pesticide, spray mixture or rinsate is a violation
of Federal Law. If these wastes cannot be disposed of by use according
to label instructions, contact your State Pesticide or Environmental
Control Agency or the Hazardous Waste representative at the nearest
EPA Regional Office for guidance.
Container Disposal: Triple rinse (or equivalent). Then offer for
recycling or reconditioning, or puncture and dispose of in a sanitary
landfill, or incineration, or if allowed by state and local authorities,
by burning. If burned, stay out of smoke.
Physical or Chemical Hazard: Do not use or store near heat or
Environmental Hazards: This product is toxic to fish. Do not apply
directly to water. Do not contaminate water by cleaning of equipment
or disposal of wastes.
Caution(s): Precautionary Statements
Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals: Danger: Corrosive. Causes
burns. Do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing. Harmful if
swallowed. Avoid breathing spray mist. Wear goggles or face shield
and rubber gloves when handling this concentrate. Wash thoroughly
with soap and water after handling. Remove contaminated clothing
and wash before reuse.
Warning(s): Do not treat swine 5 days prior to slaughter.
Statement of Practical Treatment:
If Swallowed: Call a physician immediately. Do not induce vomiting
unless under medial supervision.
If Inhaled: Remove victim to fresh air and apply artificial respiration
If On Skin: Remove contaminated clothing and wash skin with plenty
of soap and water.
If in Eyes: Immediately flush eyes thoroughly for at least five
minutes with plenty of water. Get medical attention.
Note to Physician: This product contains petroleum distillates.
Vomiting may cause aspiration pneumonia.
Notice of Warranty: Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation
makes no warranty of merchantability, fitness for any particular
purpose or otherwise expressed or implied concerning this product
or its uses which extend beyond the use of the product under normal
conditions in accord with the statements made on the label.
Keep out of reach of children.
Presentation: 1 U.S. Pint (473 mL)