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7-Year-Old Child Abuse Victim Billy Travis Passes Away

Billy was just 4-years-old when he suffered severe brain damage due to abuse by his then step-mother Michelle Hunter.
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Billy Travis, a victim of child abuse, passed away Wednesday night in his mother’s arms. 

His family says they felt peace in their home as Billy, 7, took his last breaths.

Billy was just 4-years-old when he suffered severe brain damage due to abuse by his then step-mother Michelle Hunter. 

Hunter was sentenced in April 2014 to a maximum of 20 years in prison for charges related to the abuse of Billy. 

Billy's adoptive mother, Kim Travis, says he was surrounded by family and friends during the last moments of his life.

"I was holding him and he passed away in my arms,” said Kim. “He’s now free from the captivity of the body that he had and he can be free.”

"No child should leave before his parents, and that was the hard thing,” said Billy’s adoptive father Bob Travis.

Three years ago, Billy was adopted by the Travis family. It was a decision they say changed their lives forever.

"He has blessed us and made us closer as a family,” said Bob.

"People have asked us...If we could go back three years would we have done anything different? And I wouldn't have,” said Kim. “He has taught my family a lot of things, he has taught my children a lot of things."

When Billy’s health quickly became worse within the last few weeks, his parents stood by their decision not to resuscitate him. They say that choice came with many mixed emotions.

"Here’s a 7-year-old little boy who has suffered so much, but then you're also relieved and rejoiced because he's no longer suffering,” said Billy’s oldest sister Sara McConnell. “All we can imagine is him just running and laughing and talking again."

Billy's family says even though he is no longer with them, they want the community to remember his resilience and the joy he brought many.

"He will continue to touch people's lives because we will never forget anything about him,” said Billy’s sister-in-law Vanessa Travis.

Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal says they are exploring the possibility of filing murder charges against Michele Hunter. However, they must wait for autopsy results to confirm that Billy’s death was directly related to Hunter's abuse.

Billy's funeral will be held on Monday at Crosswalk Church in Waynesboro at 2 p.m.

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