WILKINSBURG, PA (WTAE/CNN) - Authorities say a Pennsylvania woman, whom a mother left in charge of her three children, deliberately starved the kids and forced them to live in deplorable conditions.
Jennifer Stout, 35, is charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person. She is being held at the Allegheny County Jail.
The children’s mother, DaNette Turner, took her three children, ages 2, 9 and 12, and stopped communicating with the family earlier this year, according to the children’s grandfather, Gerald Turner.
Gerald Turner managed to track the children down through social media, but when the family visited the home, their aunt said they appeared so thin and in such bad condition that she immediately took them to the hospital.
All three children were also reportedly filthy and looked severely unkempt.
According to court documents, the children had lost significant weight over the last few months, with the 2-year-old boy losing 8 pounds since September.
Doctors treating the toddler told police she had never observed such rapid weight loss in a child of that age in all her years of practicing medicine.
The boy was also experiencing hair loss related to his starvation. He had multiple injuries and bruises, according to court documents.
Stout denied intentionally starving the children but allegedly admitted to police she should have sought treatment for them sooner. She told police DaNette Turner left the children with her because she didn’t want them.
Authorities are still investigating the case. They are attempting to track down DaNette Turner to determine if she will face any charges.