Shawnee Kansas Couple in Court for Starving 5 Year Old

John Carter, 35, and Elizabeth Francis, 28, of Shawnee Kansas

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Police were called to Children's Mercy Hospital in December 2018 by medical professionals concerning a 5 year old boy that had been brought in.  With bruising over his body and a cut on his head, he was diagnosed with malnutrition due to starvation, a distended stomach and perforated bowel due to "blunt force trauma."  Doctors informed Police that they had last seen the boy in September of the same year, when he weighed 38 pounds.  His weight at the time of his admission in December was down to 28, evidently a weight common for a two year old.

 

Immediately taken into protective custody by Police, the boy was also taken into emergency surgery and then placed on a feeding tube.

 

Initially, Elizabeth Francis, 28, denied that anyone had abused the child.  Upon further questioning by Police, however, she stated that John Carter, 35, abused both her and the child.  She also admitted that they had withheld food from the boy.

 

Once the child was discharged from the hospital, he made a statement that Francis would hit him, pull his hair, place him in cold baths and that, "Elizabeth don't feed me."  He stated Francis would tell him she was going to let him starve and he would "be dead."

Carter, listed as the boy's adopted father, and Francis are both charged with child abuse and aggravated endangerment of a child. Both are being held on $100,000 bond and were due back in court this morning.

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