Mercer, P.A. – A Pennsylvania mother and grandmother were arrested for allegedly beating and starving a 7 year-old almost to death while locked up in their home.
The boy was barely allowed to go outside but when he did, he would eat bugs to quell his hunger pains. He was found in June by a caseworker after there were reports by a neighbor that a “walking skeleton” was seen outside of a home shared by the boy’s mother, Mary Raider, 28; his grandmother Deana Beighley, 48; and step-grandfather Dennis Beighley, 59.
Authorities claim that he was only fed small amounts a day and weighted a mere 25 pounds when found. He was only allowed outside for brief periods where he would look for bugs to eat.
Workers at the Children’s hospital in Pittsburgh said it was the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen.
“He looked like a Holocaust victim,” Mercer County Detective John J. Piatek told the Tribune-Review. “He had been beaten with a belt every time he tried to get food. He had three abscessed teeth and weighed 20 pounds when he was taken to Children’s the Hospital. The starvation could have killed him. The abscessed teeth could have killed him.”
He was taken to the Greenville County Medical Center where doctors at Children’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh say that his bones were protruding so badly that they were breaking through his skin. Doctors concluded that he only had a month to live so luckily was found just in time.
Abused, Beaten By Family Members
The grandmother’s attorney said that the boy told a caseworker that he was treated kindly and ate three meals a day but would vomit them up afterwards. However, after he was transferred to the hospital it was reported that he gained 20 lbs over the next few weeks.
District attorney Robert Kochums said that the boy identified as A.R. to protect boy’s identity was purposely kept from public view. Pictures that were shown in court of the boy’s wasted away exterior brought gasps from the jury.
Mary Raider’s attorney told the judge that he had medical issues that simply got out of hand and his family was only guilty of not seeking proper medical attention. But the judge wasn’t buying the story and the three adults were charged with child abuse and attempted murder.
This sentence brought a round of applause from an enraged courtroom of 60 including relatives. The boy’s guardians have been jailed until their trial this Thursday with a bond of 100,000 dollars each.