Records show dozens of police calls to home where 8-year-old girl died
Police were called to the home of 8-year-old Autumn Hallow more than 30 times in the months and years before first responders found the girl dead inside her family’s apartment in Elk River last week, according a law enforcement log of incidents obtained by 5 INVESTIGATES.
The calls for service to the home on 172nd Avenue NW included noise complaints from neighbors and welfare checks prompted by Autumn Hallow’s mother, who was supposed to have shared custody of the girl with her father.
Prosecutors charged Brett Hallow and stepmother Sarah Kay Hallow with second-degree murder and manslaughter on Monday.
In September 2019, records show officers noted "suspected possible abuse" and a "child protection report indicating possible child maltreatment issues," but Elk River police declined to comment when asked about the nature of the calls to the Hallow’s apartment.
Sherburne County also declined to elaborate about any possible reports to Child Protective Services.
"In this instance, there are active investigations ongoing and whether or not reports of maltreatment had been received or parties had contacted this agency will be a part of these investigations," said spokesman David Unze in an email statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday.
Calls to police continued in early 2020, including an "anonymous report" in February of "someone yelling at a child saying, ‘I will hit you!’"
When Autumn Hallow’s mother told police she had not seen her daughter since January, officers wrote that the girl’s father was "unwilling to share child custody due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
An officer who came to the family’s apartment in June wrote that a male "parent said his daughter was not able to come to the door at that time, but later had her waive to me from the balcony."
On Aug. 2, police "attempted phone contact" and left a voicemail at Autumn Hallow’s apartment, but an officer wrote "no return call was received."
Eleven days later, police responded again to a medical call and found the 8-year-old girl dead inside.
Officers described her body as "extremely frail and thin."
A criminal complaint says first responders found stepmother Sarah Hallow performing chest compressions on the girl but she appeared to have been deceased for some time.
Other children in the home told investigators the two adults would sometimes tie up Autumn Hallow and put her in a sleeping bag as punishment.
Brett and Sarah Hallow are scheduled to return to court at the end of August.