Two adults have been charged with first-degree murder after a 6-year-old IL boy died from extreme malnourishment, officials said.
Georgena Roberts, of Jerseyville, has been charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment charges after police say her 6-year-old step-son died of starvation weighing only 17 pounds. The pair, both 42, also face a felony count of child endangerment related to the boy who died and a misdemeanor count of child endangerment for their treatment of their 6-year-old son.
Jerseyville police were called to the Jersey Community Hospital on Friday, November 3, 2017 in response to the child's death. An investigation found the parents deprived the 6-year-old and 7-year-old of food as means of punishment, according to a police statement. The boy lived with three siblings, and two step-siblings.
Preliminary findings of an autopsy on child show that the cause of death was failure to thrive due to "Extreme Malnourishment".
The couple is being held at the Jersey County jail; bail has been set at $500,000 each.
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Jerseyville Police continue to investigate.
"I had no idea that there was supposedly six children living in the house at all", Lucas Dickerman, a neighbor, told FOX2.
DCFS says they have taken custody of five children and placing them with relatives.
"[The parents] knowingly and intentionally caused [the boy] to become extremely malnourished, leaving the said 6-year-old child.to starve to death", read the criminal complaint against the Roberts. Very secretive people. Just insane to think that something like that happens next door to you, especially in a town like this where stuff life that usually doesn't happen. That child "fell into a state of severe malnourishment caused by" the Robertses, according to court documents.