About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Editors Notes Cookie Policy
© Copyright 2024 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

North Carolina Mom Accused of Starving and Murdering Two of Her Five Adopted Children: Police

Avantae Deven adopted five children, all of whom reportedly lived in horrid conditions under her care, police said.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WRAL
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WRAL

An adoptive mother in North Carolina allegedly wreaked havoc on her kids' lives, ultimately taking the lives of two of them, said police.

Avantae Deven was taken into custody by Fayetteville Police for the alleged disappearance and death of Blake and London Deven, Independent reported.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by  Margaret Weir
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Margaret Weir

Fayetteville Police Chief Kemberle Braden said that Avantae Deven adopted five children, all of whom allegedly lived in horrific conditions while in her care.

Avantae Deven adopted the five children from three different North Carolina Counties, WRAL reported. The children included three boys, who were biologically related, and two girls, who had no biological relation with anyone in the family. 

"Multiple interviews showed the appalling conditions the kids grew up in," said Lead investigator Sgt. Jeff Locklear, WRAL reported.

"Deven kept them in small rooms in complete darkness at times. They were given little or no food, they could earn nourishment by doing ‘paperwork.’ That meant they had to write hundreds of paragraphs to apologize for misbehavior. It is alleged some of the children were also beaten to the point of needing medical care but were only given natural cures like honey," said Locklear.


The investigation started in November 2023, WRAL reported. Officers responded to a mental health crisis call for the Deven home at Berriedale Drive.

The caller identified himself as Blake Deven's brother and claimed to have not seen his sibling for the last five years. He also shared that the last time he laid eyes on Blake Deven, the boy allegedly had a broken arm.

The caller shared with authorities that he suspected that Blake Deven was dead, WRAL reported. During their investigation, Fayetteville police found out about London Deven.

On being questioned, Avantae Deven shared with the investigators that she had last seen Blake Deven in 2022 when he was allegedly leaving for a Buddhist retreat, the Independent reported.

On April 10, human skeletal remains of two children were found by investigators from a metal burn barrel, the Independent reported.

The remains were sent for testing to figure out whether they belonged to Blake or London Deven, WRAL reported. Locklear shared that one set of the remains belonged to London Deven. Tests are still ongoing on the second set of remains. 


Investigators claimed that Blake Deven was last seen in 2017, while London Deven was last seen in 2019, the Independent reported. The evidence, authorities said, shows that Blake Deven may have died from two factors. 

“We believe he was mentally abused and starved," Locklear claimed, the Independent reported.

“His body could not sustain the inhumane treatment. Then, Avantae developed a plan to hide Blake’s remains. She forced another person in the household to participate,” Locklear alleged.

Blake Deven was reportedly last seen when he was a 10-year-old boy, the Independent reported. London Deven was an adult but was a special needs individual who needed Avantae Deven's help.

Locklear believes that London Deven met her end the same way Blake Deven did — due to starvation and neglect. 

Bryanna Morrow was one of the kids adopted by Avantae Deven, WRAL reported. During her time with Avatate Deven, she went by the name of Cherish Deven. The woman shared how children were locked in isolation for days at a stretch.

“It was very horrible. There were days we didn’t go with showers. The only time we could turn on the bathroom or the sink was to get water,” she claimed.


Morrow alleged that the kids were regularly beaten because they had to resort to stealing things, like food to survive, WRAL reported. "She would just drag you down by your hair and beat you,” added Morrow.

Avantae Deven made children write apology letters whenever they committed a mistake, Morrow said. “The older you got, the more paragraphs you had to do,” Morrow explained. “So by the time I was 15, I was doing top to bottom of a page. Imagine one page [to] 2,000 pages.”

Felicia Chandler, Blake Deven's biological mother, spoke about the issue, “I really just feel like there’s more questions, and I’m waiting for more answers,” Chandler said, WRAL reported.

“I just want to see my other two boys. I want to know if the remains are going to be sent home to where they belong with their biological families,” Chandler said.

Authorities have kept the details about other adopted children under wraps, the Independent reported.

Neighbors had no idea what was allegedly happening in Avantae Deven's home, WRAL reported. James Howard, who lived across from Avantae Deven, claimed that his neighbor did not interact with others often. Everything was delivered to her home and she only came out for her appointments, he noted.

"It’s crazy because it’s right across the street and I didn’t know," Howard said, WRAL reported. "It’s just strange to know that this was probably going on and I didn’t know."

Avantae Deven was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of concealment of death, one count of kidnapping related to London’s death, and two counts of felony child abuse related to Blake’s death, the Independent reported. Currently, she is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center.

POPULAR ON Front Page Detectives
MORE ON Front Page Detectives