PERRY, Iowa -- In a family filled with misfortune, Sabrina Ray pulled the shortest straw.
Shy and small, the girl with dimples and dark brown hair was separated from an older half-sister and four brothers before the age of 10.
Her oldest sister, now 27, grew up in group homes. Sabrina’s oldest brother went to live with a grandfather and step-grandmother in Earlham.
Three younger brothers — one just a year younger than Sabrina, the two other babies — ultimately were adopted from foster care, according to Sabrina’s birth father, Joseph Busch of Perry.
But at least they lived.
The husband and wife who took in Sabrina as a foster child in 2011 and adopted her in 2013 face multiple felonies after the malnourished 16-year-old was found unresponsive May 12 at home in Perry, according to Perry police. When officers arrived, Sabrina had died.
Misty Ray, 40, and her husband, Marc Ray, 41, are now charged in her death, with Misty Ray entering a not guilty plea last month.
Sabrina’s death has ignited a flurry of outrage across the state, particularly in Perry, the site of vigils involving hundreds.
The abuse allegations surrounding the homeschooled girl and her siblings come on the heels of similarly alarming abuse allegations involving Natalie Finn, who starved to death in West Des Moines, and Malayia Knapp, who fled an abusive home in Urbandale in late 2015.
The cases are raising questions about whether Iowa is doing enough to monitor the roughly 4,260 children in foster care in Iowa and the people paid to take care of them.
Sabrina's biological family, the Busches, say they want change as well.
Sabrina had a rough childhood, they acknowledge. But they say she was a good girl — loving, responsible, not prone to acting out — and she certainly didn't deserve to die.
“There’s got to be something good that comes out of this,” Joe Busch said.
Photos: Vigil for Sabrina Ray in Perry (story continues below photos)