Docs: Mom went to casino on day teen son starved to death

Clark County

No one has been arrested in the homicide death of Karreon Franks

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The adoptive mother of a 15-year-old who weighed 61 pounds when he died went to a casino just hours after his death in November 2020 and spent more than four hours gambling.

Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News show Felicia Adams took Karreon Franks to the hospital the day after Thanksgiving. She allegedly told doctors Karreon became unresponsive when she was bathing him. He was pronounced dead 14 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

The detective on the case got a tip from a confidential source that “Felicia Adams had been spending a substantial amount of money at ilani casino in Ridgefield.” The detective looked at financial records from the casino for Adams and her husband, Jesse Franks.

“The records indicate that Adams and Franks both had substantial gambling habits,” wrote Detective Zachary Ripp of the Vancouver Police Department. “I later received video surveillance of Felicia Adams and Jesse Franks at ilani Casino… which showed that Felicia Adams arrived at ilani Casino approximately three hours after Karreon died to play slots.”

The detective told a judge Felicia Adams has spent $753,181 in total “cash buys” or “buy-ins” at the casino from April 2017 to December 9, 2020 and she has a “lifetime loss of $238,098” while she spent 1,261 hours at ilani. Jesse Franks has a “lifetime loss of $43,078” while he spent 977 hours at the casino, the detective wrote.

Karreon lived in a Vancouver home with Adams and Franks with his brothers, who were adopted by the couple from Adams’ sister.

The detective wrote Adams received “approximately $3000 a month to care for Karreon” from the state of California, where he used to live.

Court documents also show Child Protective Services went to the house 6 days before he died after Adams’s other sister warned that Felicia was withholding food and Karreon was “a walking skeleton” and “falls down due to malnourishment.” The sister also said the boys have to “steal food when they can.” The CPS worker who visited the home was reportedly told by one of the boys that his parents spanked him with a paddle until it broke, after which they used an extension cord and spanked him until he bled. Court documents show the boy told the caseworker he saw his mother hit Karreon with a cane and that she would sometimes hit the teen with it when he threw up.

Documents also say he was legally blind, severely autistic and non-verbal. His teachers at Mountain View High School talked about how he would binge eat until he would vomit. One of his special ed teachers said the last time she saw Karreon before the pandemic he weighed 115 to 120 pounds. Another teacher reportedly told a Clark County detective about a day Karreon came to school starving and crying and his brother told school staff they had been punished and hadn’t been given any food over the weekend. Court documents show that when a school counselor asked Adams about it, she replied that punishment was family business.

Karreon’s death was ruled a homicide by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Documents obtained by KOIN 6 News show the autopsy done by the Clark County Medical Examiner showed abnormal bone and hair growth as well as abdominal lesions most likely caused by starvation. The ME also said Karreon had hardly any range of motion in his arms and legs, again likely because of starvation.

No one has been arrested. Vancouver police said the investigation is ongoing and the district attorney will be responsible for any prosecution.

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