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North Carolina Mom Charged With Killing 2 of Her Adopted Children, All Held Under Horrific Circumstances

A North Carolina woman has been arrested and charged with killing two of her adopted children who haven’t been seen for years. Fayetteville Police Chief Kemberle Braden said that Avantae Deven faces multiple charges relating to the disappearance and death of Blake and London Deven, WTVD reported.

“Our evidence shows that both Blake and London are deceased,” Braden said, adding investigators believe that Avantae Deven abused them and ultimately killed them and that the abuse included starvation.

Deven has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of concealment of death, one count of kidnapping related to London Deven’s death, and two counts of felony child abuse related to Blake Deven’s death. She is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center with no bond.

The investigation began in November 2023 when officers responded to a mental health call at the home where Deven lived with her children. The person having the crisis told investigators he was Blake Deven’s brother and hadn’t seen him in years.

Investigators quickly learned that there were five children at the house, adopted from three North Carolina counties. Three were boys who were related and the other two were girls not related to each other or the boys.

Social workers interviewed the children and heard of horrific treatment from their mother, including being kept in a small, dark room and given little to no food. They told detectives they were allowed to earn food by writing papers apologizing for their behavior.

At times, the children said, they were beaten to the point of needing medical care.

Avantae Deven/Cumberland County Detention Center

Avantae Deven told varying stories about the location of the boy. “Initially, she was giving us a story that Blake was possibly at a Buddhist retreat in the mountains,” lead investigator Sgt. Jeff Locklear said.

Detectives determined that Blake Deven, about 15 at the time, was last seen in 2022. They said they believed he succumbed to starvation and beatings and that his body was burned.

In the course of investigating the boy’s death, they learned about the death of London Deven, who was last seen in 2019. While investigating, they found a metal burn barrel that contained the remains of a girl between the ages of 15 and 19 and a boy between 7 and 10. Lab tests identified the girl as London.

Investigators said London also died from starvation, abuse, and neglect. Testing is continuing on the remains of the young boy. Avantae Deven appeared in court on Thursday and was ordered held without bond, WRAL reported.