Charged mother of dead teen: ' I think my daughter killed herself'

Charged mother of dead teen: ' I think my daughter killed herself' »Play Video
Hana Williams
SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- Hana Williams died of hypothermia after she was starved and abused, according to the Skagit County prosecutor.

But during the 911 call made while Williams was on the ground, unconscious, her adoptive mother claimed it was the girl's own rebellious and self-destructive attitude that led to her death.

"Yes, I think my daughter killed herself," Carri Williams told the 911 operator.

When asked why she thought that was the case, Williams answered, "She's really rebellious and she's been outside, refusing to come in. And she's been throwing herself all around, and then she collapsed."

It was May 12, a chilling 40 degrees and raining. Police learned 13-year-old Hana Williams had been in the backyard of her Sedro-Woolley home for half the day.

911 Operator: "Is she breathing?"

Carri Williams: "I don't think so, no."

911 Operator: "How old is your daughter?"

Carri Williams: "I don't know. We adopted her almost three years ago."

911 Operator: "You don't know how old she is?"

Carri Williams: "She's somewhere between the ages of 14 and 16."


Prosecutors have charged Carri Williams and her husband, Larry Williams, with homicide by abuse, but the Williams claim their daughter was acting out and refused to come inside.

"She was throwing herself all over the gravel, the yard, the patio," Carri Williams said. "We went to bring her in. My sons tired to carry her in, and she took her clothes off."

But court documents state Carri and Larry Williams had forced the girl to spend the day outside as a form of punishment. Detectives say the girl led a hellish existence, often starved, beaten and locked in a dark closet for hours.

The girl's brothers dragged her into the house, and the 911 operator coached Carri Williams through CPR. Hana Williams had a lump on her head, and was covered in blood, and investigators believed marks on her body were from repeated whippings.

Carri Williams insists the girl killed herself.

"She's very passive-aggressive...I don't' know how to describe it," she said.

A witness told investigators the parents took their discipline cues from a controversial book that recommends withholding food and putting children in cold weather to punish them. The Williams' eight other children have been taken into protective custody.

The two suspects have been released on bail, and have refused to comment.