A Florida couple have been charged with manslaughter after a 3-year-old with severe injuries died earlier in the month, according to police.
Takesha Williams, 24, and Efrem Allen, Jr., 25, have been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a young child. Allen and Williams are being held at the Polk County Jail on $100,000 bond each.
WTSP reported, "Deputies say the couple noticed during the morning of May 12 that the toddler was cold to the touch, his stomach was bloated and his pulse oximeter was malfunctioning, but waited until around 3 p.m. to call 911."
The Bartow Fire Rescue and law enforcement responded to a 911 call regarding a baby in distress, and reportedly found the 3-year-old did not have a pulse. The child was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An emergency room doctor said the unidentified baby had not received proper care for months, according to police. The medical examiner said the 3-year-old had sepsis, bilateral pneumonia, and Stage 5 ulcers.
Law & Crime reported, "In what one Florida sheriff called the worst case he’s ever seen, a couple is accused of letting their comatose 3-year-old boy rot in his bed after authorities discovered his lifeless, ulcerous body with gaping wounds, no rectum, and a hole with intestines, spinal column and colon visible."
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference, "But there appeared to be no life in the child. This child was rotting in the bed."
Judd stated, "They let this baby rot and die in its bed. I've done this for five decades. I have seen thousands of children abused, hundreds of children murdered at the hands of parents. I have never seen the horror that we saw with this poor child at the hands of these two folks."
Authorities suspect that Williams and Allen knew the boy was in abominable shape, but they didn't seek out help because they may have feared that the Florida Department of Children and Families would take their two other young children away. The other children were in good health, according to Judd.
Police said when the deceased boy was only 10 months old, he accidentally fell into a pool at a rental home in Davenport, Florida. He nearly drowned to death, but was left with no brain activity after the pool accident. Doctors allegedly recommended the parents remove the boy from life-sustaining measures because he would forever be in a coma.
The parents reportedly decided to keep the baby on a ventilator and feeding tube. In October, the parents purportedly began to reject health care assistance.
The parents allege that the baby was not neglected.
Judd vowed to send the couple to prison for "as long as we can."
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