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WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — The woman who police say intentionally starved children in her care was in court Thursday.
While her hearing ended up being postponed, one of the children she was caring for remains in the hospital. He was supposed to be released today to extended family, but in a last-minute change of plans, doctors decided to keep him for more treatment.
Jennifer Stout, 35, was shackled and handcuffed as she made her way to court. She was charged Dec. 22 with endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment and assault.
KDKA’s Pam Surano: “Jennifer, can you tell us why [she] left her children with you?”
Stout: “I don’t know, ask her. Find her and ask her.”
The children, ages 2, 9 and 12, were found living in what police call deplorable conditions at Stout’s Hunter Street home in Wilkinsburg.
Stout said the children were left in her care by their biological mother for seven months. All the children had lost significant weight. The 2-year-old was bruised all over his body and had marks on his ankles and wrists, indicating he had been bound.
Outside magistrate court in Wilkinsburg, more heartache.
Isisch Johnson, 23, has a 2-year-old daughter with Stout, and she was also living at Stout’s home.
“She kept her, like, from me all her life, since she was born, so it’s like I barely know anything. It’s sad,” said Johnson.
When Johnson heard about the condition of the children found in Stout’s care, he says he started calling Children, Youth and Families, fearing for her safety.
“I’m trying to get her back. Now I got my own house, so I’m trying to like fight hard to get her,” he said.
The toddler reportedly could not walk when he was first brought to Children’s Hospital with his two older sisters two weeks ago.
He has now gained three pounds, and while not walking yet due to his frailness, he can now stand.
The biological mother still hasn’t been found and Stout’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 17.
She will be receiving psychological counseling and has been ordered to have no contact with any of the child victims.