BRIGHTON HEIGHTS (KDKA)- A mother was arrested on Wednesday, accused of abusing her son, who has autism and cerebral palsy.
Vonda Brown’s 24-year-old son, Dyrue McGee, showed up at the hospital last fall malnourished and suffering from a severe burn.
KDKA’s Brenda Waters Reports:
It was October of 2014 when McGee was taken to Ohio Valley Hospital to be treated for a severe burn to his right hand. It was a burn that doctors say wasn’t consistent with his mother’s story of how it got there.
Investigators say Brown allegedly put her son’s hand in hot liquid causing the burn that required 58 days of hospitalization.
Doctors say he showed up weighing just 58 pounds and he was screaming to be fed.
According to the criminal complaint, a doctor told police that McGee’s malnutrition was evidence of a chronic constant abuse situation. McGee has been placed in protective custody.
In a statement, a hospital spokesperson told KDKA, “When the patient arrived the staff had concerns about his care and contacted police.”
McGee received assistance through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services for a caregiver and his mother helped to coordinate those services.
The caregiver, 45-year-old Armando Navarro, has been charged in the case too.
KDKA’s Christine D’Antonio Reports:
Police allege that Mr. Navarro received payments for 18 days of work, in which he didn’t work. Navarro and Brown are accused of faking the time sheets for those days, all days in which McGee was in the hospital being treated for his burns.
Navarro received more than $2,000 for those “fake days” of work. He claims he still did some work around the house.
Neighbors, who rarely saw the 44-year-old and her son, were shocked to find out that Brown’s son was 24.
“We always thought it was a kid,” Bob White said. “We’re devastated around here. We never knew anything like that could happen.”
Brown has been charged with aggravated assault, Medicaid fraud and conspiracy. Meanwhile, Navarro has been charged with Medicaid fraud and theft by deception.
Both were booked into the Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday.
Navarro was later released, and Brown made her $5,000 bail Thursday.