A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy was starved and beaten by his mother for a year before welfare workers found him weighing only 25 pounds, according to the The Herald in Sharon.
Child welfare workers, informed of the situation, went to the home in Greenville — about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh — where they observed the boy was “clearly underweight,” according to their report.
The Herald noted the following from the criminal complaint:
- The boy lived with his mother, grandparents, two sisters (ages 11 and 4) and a brother (9). The two girls were healthy, and the brother was underweight, but not as severely as the victim, detectives said.
- The boy’s mother removed her son from public schools last August so he could be homeschooled. He was not permitted out of the house except to the back porch where he would catch bugs and sometimes eat them.
- Interviews with the victim and siblings revealed that the victim was fed only small portions of tuna fish and eggs. He was beaten frequently with a belt, especially when he was caught sneaking food, usually peanut butter and bread.
- The only time he was given a shower was as punishment and the water was ice cold. He also had two abscessed teeth which had to be removed.
- The boy was taken last month to a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh; he weighed 25 pounds. Since June 6, hospital officials said the boy has gained 20 pounds.
- “He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from,” said Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center, adding that it was “the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen in my seven years as a pediatrician.”
The boy’s mother, Mary C. Rader, 28, and grandparents, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana C. Beighley, 47, all of the same address, were arrested Wednesday and each charged with two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault of a victim under 13, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of children, and criminal conspiracy, the Herald noted. They were released on bond.