WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — A Wilkinsburg woman is being accused of neglecting three children who were left in her care, including a 2-year-old boy who a doctor believes was intentionally starved.
According to a criminal complaint, three children — ages 12, 9 and 2 — were taken to the Children’s Hospital emergency room by their aunt on Thursday and were seen for signs of neglect.
Police interviewed the children’s grandfather, who said he had been looking for his daughter’s children and posted a message on social media asking about their whereabouts.
The children’s grandfather said 35-year-old Jennifer Stout, of Wilkinsburg, responded to his social media post and told him the three kids were staying with her.
Stout then spoke with the man over the phone and allegedly said the children’s mother had left the three kids with Stout about seven months ago and they had been staying with her ever since. Stout allegedly told the grandfather she didn’t want the children, and he made arrangements for their aunt to pick them up from Stout’s home.
The aunt told police Stout’s home was in deplorable condition and the children were filthy and looked severely unkempt. She also said her 2-year-old nephew was lying on a mat on the floor when she arrived. She took the children to the hospital immediately after leaving Stout’s home.
A doctor told police that past medical records showed the 12-year-old girl had lost 19 pounds since September, the 9-year-old girl had lost 14 pounds since July and the 2-year-old boy had lost 8 pounds since September.
The doctor said she had never seen such rapid weight loss in a 2-year-old child in her entire career, and she believed the boy had been purposefully starved.
The criminal complaint says the 2-year-old boy was also experiencing hair loss related to his starvation, had what appeared to be ligature marks on his wrists and ankle areas and had a large number of bruises and other injuries all over his body.
Stout was arrested and sent to Allegheny County Police headquarters to be interviewed.
During her interview, Stout told police the children’s biological mother had given the children to her sometime during the summer and they had been in her care for the last seven months.
Stout allegedly denied that she ever intentionally starved the children, but she acknowledged that she had noticed the 2-year-old boy’s current physical state and said she should have taken him to receive medical attention.
Stout is facing multiple charges, including endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and aggravated assault.