Only July 1, a 3-year-old girl from Joplin, Mo., was brought to the hospital unconscious and so malnourished she weighed only 12 pounds 9 ounces -- only a little more than some newborns. The two women responsible for her care were issued a felony charge of child endangerment this week.
The Joplin Globe reports that police responded to a call from 26-year-old Beth Williams' home and took the child to the hospital where she was found to have "a blood sugar level of zero," a body temperature "too low to register" and a faint pulse that led physicians to perform CPR, according to the probable-cause affidavit. The Globe notes a doctor telling the police her condition was "life-threatening," given she was suffering from “dehydration, sepsis, circulatory failure, shock and respiratory failure.”
According to LiveStrong, the average weight of a 3-year-old should range between 25 and 38 pounds.
The girl was hospitalized and within four days gained three pounds. She was placed into foster care and gained two more pounds within a week there.
The mother's account to investigators was that the girl was fine when she checked on her the evening of June 30 after returning home from work. By morning, she was unresponsive.
In a separate article, the Globe reports neighbors thoughts on the situation:
Angel Haynes said her family thought the girl was just a baby when her mother, Beth Williams, and her roommate, Christina Haidle, moved into the house at 1407 S. Pennsylvania Ave. about a year ago. Haynes said Williams was always carrying her daughter whenever she saw them leaving their house or returning.
“She looked like an infant to me,” Haynes said. “When I found out she was almost 4, I said: ‘No way.’”
The girl's grandfather though, speaking to the Associated Press remarked that his granddaughter had "always been small" and wasn't being starved.
“I know my daughter loves that baby with all her heart, and I know she wouldn’t do anything to hurt her,” Williams said.
He said the last time he got together with his daughter and granddaughter was Thanksgiving, when his daughter fixed a typical holiday meal. The girl appeared healthy and well-fed at that time, and showed a big appetite, he said.
Williams' 27-year-old roommate, Christina Haidle, who has secondary provider care of the girl, was also served with the same charges and a bond of $500,000. The Globe also notes Haidle was convicted of a misdemeanor for child endangerment in 2004.
The women were scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
(H/T: Daily Mail)