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

Marc Ray, left, and Misty Ray, second from right, are charged with first-degree murder in the starvation death of Sabrina Ray, third from left, who died May 12 of severe malnutrition. The Rays' son, Justin Ray, right, was charged with one count of child endangerment resulting in serious injury, one count of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury and two counts of willful injury causing bodily injury.

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.


  1. Those sick monsters had my son in their custody for three years. Who does DHS think they are? They think they are God! Parker Holland must take a look right at himself, along with Sonya Hayworth of Wappello DHS! I hope you are both happy and sleep well each night. I am sure Kory Joe Hewitt was put through hell.at your hands! Shame on you both! I hope you suffer the same as my son and we have for your negligence for over two-and-a-half to three years! God help you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.