6-year-old girl weighed just 25 pounds when taken to hospital
Denver, Colorado – An Evergreen couple have been charged with child abuse in connection to their 6-year-old daughter’s “long-term malnutrition.”
Jason Matthew Barton, 40, and Katherine Clark Barton, 36, face a felony charge, child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, after their daughter was admitted to Children’s Hospital Colorado weighing 25 pounds, according to the Jefferson County district attorney’s office.
That weight — 25 pounds — is of a typical healthy 2-year-old child, prosecutors said.
The girl’s parents, according to an arrest affidavit, had locks on the refrigerator and pantry.
The couple claimed the child struggles with a form of autism, which impacts her eating habits, and that she may have a “gluten allergy,” the affidavit said.
The couple said the girl was having a hard time adjusting to Colorado since the family’s move from North Carolina three years ago, and to kindergarten. They removed her from kindergarten class before the school year was finished.
Concerns about the girl’s weight were reported to Jefferson County Human Services on June 1. The couple took the child to the hospital June 10, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation two days later.
The staff at Children’s likened the girl’s appearance “to that of concentration camp victims,” according to the affidavit, and medical workers could not determine any “psychological or medical” reasons why the girl was so severely underweight. The staff did determine that she is not autistic.
The Bartons told investigators they used locks at home because the child was “stealing” and “hoarding” food.
The child is now in custody of Jeffco Human Services. The Bartons are free on $25,000 bail. Their next court appearance is July 21.