On their show Welcome to Plathville, the Plaths have introduced nine of their children — Ethan, Hosanna, Micah, Moriah, Lydia, Isaac, Amber, Cassia, and Mercy. Their 10th child, a son named Joshua, was killed in a tragic incident that occurred in their backyard in 2008.
Welcome to Plathville follows parents Kim and Barry as they raise their kids — conservative, religious, homeschooled, sheltered from technology, and barred from sugary drinks — while residing on an isolated 50-acre farm in rural Georgia.
Recently, the couple announced that they are parting ways after 24 years of marriage. Despite their split, they will continue to remain loyal to their family. “As we navigate this new chapter in our lives, we will co-parent our amazing children,” Kim and Barry said in a joint statement to PEOPLE.
Here’s what to know about the late Joshua Plath and everything Kim and Barry have said about him since his tragic death.
When was Joshua Plath born?
Joshua was born on April 15, 2007 and died in 2008, nearly 10 years before his family appeared on television.
How did Joshua Plath die?
Joshua died in a farming accident that took place on the Plath farm in autumn 2008. Kim was using her car to move fruit trees on their Georgia property and did not realize her 17-month-old son was nearby until she hit him.
“I had just seen him and I thought it was okay,” Kim recalled in an episode that aired in 2019. “But I ran over him.” According to Kim, who was pregnant with her eighth child at the time, none of the kids were there to witness the accident.
Kim recalled that an ambulance and emergency technicians rushed to the scene while she prayed. Despite the team’s best efforts to save the toddler, he passed away.
The incident was officially ruled an accident by the local Sheriff’s office, per the Thomasville Times Enterprise.
What have Barry and Kim Plath said about Joshua’s death?
According to Women’s Day, Kim once wrote an essay on the family’s now-deleted website, detailing how she struggled tremendously and faced depression in the wake of their son’s death.
“I woke up every morning and functioned. But just barely. I wanted to die,” the matriarch wrote, according to Woman’s Day. “My husband was dealing with losing his son and his wife. I was gone. Checked out. Unavailable for conversations or reality.”
“I thought of the accusations I would have thrown at Barry if the situation had been reversed,” Kim wrote. “He never did. He never even hinted at anything like that. He was strong. He just loved me.”
Kim also opened up about the accident to producers during an episode in season 2. “I probably am my biggest accuser and that was a battle that I dealt [with] the first year that he died,” she said. “I was pretty much just shut down.”
The two-hour episode of Welcome to Plathville, which centers around the family’s fraught reunion as they convene for a memorial for Joshua, airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.