The parents of a developmentally disabled 9-year-old boy were charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children after the child’s severely malnourished body was found in their Pennsylvania home last month.
Jarrod Tutko Jr. weighed little more than 16 pounds and was 3.5 feet tall when he died of child maltreatment syndrome and starvation, according to court documents.
Harrisburg police have accused Kimberly A. Tutko and Jarrod N. Tutko Sr. of a pattern of neglect. Tutko Sr. is also charged with concealing the death of a child and abusing a corpse.
Jarrod was found in a second-floor bathroom in his Harrisburg home on Aug. 1. He was dead for three days before Kimberly Tutko says she began to smell something bad coming from upstairs.
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Jarrod suffered from a chromosomal disorder called Fragile X syndrome as well as autism.
“He was dehydrated, malnourished,” said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico on Monday, according to KTLA. “There was dried, caked fecal matter on the bottom of the child’s feet and his hands and fingers nails also had fecal matter on them.”
Court documents also show he had two abscessed teeth that were “expose to their pulp” which must have caused him incredible pain.
The couple has six children, ages 3 to 14. The other five children are now in the county's custody.
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Jarrod’s room stood in stark contrast to his sister Arianna’s clean room and the other well-kept rooms in the home, PennLive reported. There was no bed, no lights and no air conditioner in his room.
In the last 20 years the Tutkos have been in contact with the Youth and Family Services division of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Schuylkill County Children and Youth Services, and the Dauphin County Children and Youth Services.
In 2005, according to a criminal complaint, a nurse was placed with Jarrod because the boy had “a history of losing weight and developmental delays.” After subsequent followups a doctors advised Tutko Sr. to take Jarrod to the hospital.
He “said, ‘No’ and hung up the phone,” according to court documents.
Jarrod wasn’t diagnosed with Fragile X, an inherited disability, until 2005 while in foster care in New Jersey. During that time the Tutkos moved to Harrisburg. He was returned to his parents in April 2006.
Neighbors, who held a vigil for Jarrod in August, put a sign on the home’s porch that read: "The Boy On Green Who Was Never Seen."
"This little boy has been living on this street for all these years and no one's seen him," said neighbor Avis Knight.
“The failure of Kimberly and Jarrod Tutko, Sr. to provide for even the most basic needs of their son demonstrates their extreme indifference to the value of Jarrod Tutko, Jr.’s life,” the complaint states.
Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot, Sean Simmers/PennLive.com