From the Herald this past weekend.
A 7-year-old Greenville boy described as looking like a human skeleton had been starved and beaten by his mother for a year, authorities are saying.
The boy’s mother, Mary C. Rader, 28, and grandparents, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana C. Beighley, 47, all of 35 N. Second St., Greenville, were arrested Wednesday after an investigation by the Mercer County District Attorney’s office.
The investigation began Mercer County Children and Youth Services were informed of the situation. Caseworkers went to the home, where they saw the boy was “clearly underweight,” according to their report.
According to the criminal complaint:
The boy lived with his mother, grandparents, two sisters (ages 11 and 4) and a brother (9). The two girls were healthy, and the brother was underweight, but not as severely as the victim, Mercer County detectives said.
The boy was taken last month to UPMC Horizon, Greenville, and transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, when it was found he weighed 25 pounds. Since June 6, hospital officials said the boy has gained 20 pounds.
“The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food. He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from,” Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center, stated.
“It is impossible to me that this severe neglect and active abuse was not visible. He was being starved in his own home around others of normal weight,” she stated.
Rader removed her son from Greenville schools so he could be home-schooled in August 2013. He was not permitted out of the house except to the back porch where he would catch bugs and sometimes eat them.
Interviews with the victim and siblings revealed that the victim was fed only small portions of tuna fish and eggs. He was beaten frequently with a belt, especially when he was caught sneaking food, usually peanut butter and bread.
The only time he was given a shower was as punishment and the water was ice cold. He also had two abscessed teeth which had to be removed.
“The child was starved. (The victim) is the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen in my seven years as a pediatrician,” Wolford stated. “Multiple physicians at Children’s Hospital are in agreement with this assessment. There is not one physician at Children’s who disagree with this assessment.”
Rader and the Beighleys were each charged with two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault of a victim under 13, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of children, and criminal conspiracy.
The trio were released on bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. July 30 in front of District Judge Brian Arthur, Greenville.