Exclusive Content:

12-Year-Old Girl Dies by Suicide After Being Relentlessly Bullied and Harassed at School

After facing relentless bullying and harassment over the past school year, 12-year-old Flora Martinez ended her life on May 7. Now, her parents are demanding change from schools and administrators after the bullying persisted, even once she was gone.

One Year After 26-Year-Old Wife Dies of Cancer, Husband Finds Redeeming Love After Loss With Young Widow

After his wife Maddy died of cancer at just 26 years old, Chandler David Smith was left grieving an unimaginable loss and navigating what it looked like to be a single dad. In his grief, he found new and beautiful love with a young widow and mother of three.

Florida ‘Safe Haven’ Baby Graduates High School, Reunites With Firefighters Who Received Her 18 Years Ago

Eighteen years ago, when she was just one day old, a baby named Colleen was surrendered at a “Safe Haven” box in Clermont, Florida. Now, as she successfully graduates high school, Colleen is reuniting with the firefighters who were with her on that fateful day 18 years ago.

14-Yr-Old Forced to Sleep in Bed With Stepdad Thinks It’s ‘Normal’—Then Elizabeth Smart Opens Her Eyes

Darby McCarthy grew up in what she believed to be a “normal” blended family.

From the outside, no one would have known that her stepfather, Charles Aragon, created an extremist religion of isolation that led to years of abuse and mind games.

Darby, who is now 21, was six years old when her mother married Charles.

Along with him, he brought four children of his own, and the two gave birth to a sixth child later in their marriage.

Darby McCarthy

It wasn’t until she was a teenager that Darby learned she’d been abused her entire life.

From the outside, they appeared to be a happy and healthy family. But on the inside, Darby was being put through her stepfather’s own version of hell on earth.

Darby McCarthy

Charles Aragon taught his children based on hand-picked principles of Mormonism, taken to the extreme. He placed the burden of salvation on his kids, and preached that in order to save the people around them, they could never speak of their religion with others.

The Argons enforced that the kids were special—smarter and superior to others. It made it so they became terribly distanced from their peers, and had no one to run to in regards to the abuse.

“He would say no one else can understand because no one else has our religion. Well, of course no one else has our religion; he made it up.”

Their salvation was at stake— along with that of everyone around them.

Darby McCarthy

For most of her childhood, Darby shared a bed with adults:

“That was our normal. I didn’t know it was unusual until much later. They built up this reality for me and my siblings. You’re dependent on everyone around you, and that’s the problem. You’re dependent on the people who raise you.”

Around the tender age of 14 is when the contact between Darby and the adults she shared a bed with became sexual and frequent. Fearful of her own doubts about her religion, her stepfather and even God, Darby suffered in silence.

It wasn’t until the trial of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart took over her television set that she realized her doubts were valid. What she was experiencing—or enduring, rather—was abuse.

Darby reached out to the few friends she did have with a desperate (but still secretive) plea. She’d say to them:

“‘I have a secret and it’s that I’m in an arranged marriage or I’m betrothed or I’m basically promised to someone and yes, I’ve met him. I know him and he’s in his 40s, he’s 30 years older than me.’

Their reactions were basically, ‘Oh, wow, that’s really weird, but I’ll keep your secret,’ which wasn’t what I wanted.”

Darby knows it wasn’t the responsibility of her peers to report something that most would never imagine to be a reality. But for obvious reasons, she wishes just one person would have been able to recognize her suffering.

Even relatives that came to visit knew that something was off, but no one ever acted on their suspicions.

“I always wanted someone to notice. No one asked me anything.”

Finally, when she was 18, Darby risked everything she’d ever known. She told her birth father what had been going on for years, and he helped her report it to detectives at the Murfreesboro Police Department in 2014.

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

12-Year-Old Girl Dies by Suicide After Being Relentlessly Bullied and Harassed at School

After facing relentless bullying and harassment over the past school year, 12-year-old Flora Martinez ended her life on May 7. Now, her parents are demanding change from schools and administrators after the bullying persisted, even once she was gone.

One Year After 26-Year-Old Wife Dies of Cancer, Husband Finds Redeeming Love After Loss With Young Widow

After his wife Maddy died of cancer at just 26 years old, Chandler David Smith was left grieving an unimaginable loss and navigating what it looked like to be a single dad. In his grief, he found new and beautiful love with a young widow and mother of three.

Florida ‘Safe Haven’ Baby Graduates High School, Reunites With Firefighters Who Received Her 18 Years Ago

Eighteen years ago, when she was just one day old, a baby named Colleen was surrendered at a “Safe Haven” box in Clermont, Florida. Now, as she successfully graduates high school, Colleen is reuniting with the firefighters who were with her on that fateful day 18 years ago.