DHS opens ‘child abuse investigation’ in death of Sabrina Ray, 16

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Marc Ray, left, and Misty Ray, second from right, are the owners and operators of Rays of Sunshine Daycare in Perry. Sabrina Ray, who died Friday in circumstances now under investigation, is seated midway between the Rays in this photo.

The Perry Police Department on Tuesday released the name of the victim of the death investigation begun May 12: Sabrina Ray, 16, of 1708 First Ave. in Perry. The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is treating Ray’s death as part of a “child abuse investigation.”

Ray was found dead in her home about 6:30 p.m. Friday. An investigation into the circumstances of her death is being conducted by the Perry Police Department in association with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the DHS.


Sabrina Ray is one of five children of Marc and Misty Ray, who own and operate Rays of Sunshine Daycare out of their home on First Avenue in Perry. According to Perry Police, “All other children who lived in the household are now in safe placement outside the home.”

A statement issued Tuesday by the DHS said “the department cannot share details of child abuse investigations,” but it is “immediately beginning the process of engaging an outside expert to examine DHS performance, and make recommendations on how we can strengthen our practices and best support our staff as we work to keep children safe from abuse and neglect.”

An autopsy of Ray’s body was completed Monday at the State Medical Examiner’s office, according to the Perry Police Department. The department said the cause of death has yet to be determined pending additional testing and information gathering.

The DHS statement said it is “taking a comprehensive review of our child welfare system and want to assure the public of our commitment to protecting vulnerable children.”

ThePerryNews.com will update this story as information becomes available.

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