A 7-year-old boy was found abused and so severely malnourished in Greenville, Pennsylvania last month that he weighed 20 pounds and had resorted to eating insects, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
The child’s mother and his two maternal grandparents were arrested for allegedly abusing the boy by starving him, beating him when he tried to sneak food, forcing him to take only cold showers, and neglecting his health so badly that he reportedly suffered from two abscessed teeth that had to be removed.
Mary Rader, 28, and her parents, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana Beighley, 47, reportedly pulled the youngest of four children out of school last year in order to homeschool him and neighbors say the little boy was rarely seen outside of the house. His three older siblings – a 9-year-old brother who was also found to be underweight and 4 and 11-year-old sisters – were reportedly allowed to play outside and eat normal meals.
The severity of this alleged abuse was uncovered when a neighbor spotted the boy, whom she said looked like a “Holocaust survivor,” while she was out walking her dog, reports the Daily News.
All of the children have been placed in state custody, and the youngest boy was hospitalized and was able to gain 20 pounds in a little over a month.
“The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food,” said Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center. “He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from.”
The three suspects have been charged with assault, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering a child’s welfare, and conspiracy, reports Huffington Post. They all posted $75,000 bond and face a preliminary hearing at the end of this month.
Wolford described this as the worst case of medical neglect that the hospital’s doctors had ever seen.
Photo Credit: SPG/Flickr, Huffington Post