WICHITA FALLS , Texas – A Texas woman is accused of neglect after her 6-year-old son was discovered weighing only 15 pounds, authorities said.
Catherine Lynn Jarvey, of Wichita Falls, was arrested on Oct. 14 and charged with injury to a child and exploitation of a child, according to Wichita County online jail records.
According to an arrest affidavit, Jarvey and her son were staying at the Delux Inn in Wichita Falls, on Sept. 21, KFDX-TV reported.
An exterminator entered the room at about 1:30 p.m. CDT and said he saw the victim, who looked like “a skeleton lying in a pack-and-play,” according to the affidavit. The man then realized it was a child when the victim moved his head toward him, KAUZ-TV reported.
The man called his supervisor, who then called police.
Authorities determined that the room was registered to Jarvey, who was staying in the room with the boy and her 10-year-old daughter, according to the television station.
According to the affidavit, Jarvey told officers that her son suffered from several medical conditions, including alobar holoprosencephaly, hydrocephalus, pectus excavatum and scoliosis. She said that required the boy to be fed formula through a tube, KAUZ reported. Officers reportedly found several cans of formula, all of which had “use by” dates of 2021 or earlier, according to the television station.
Jarvey allegedly told officers that she fed the boy every five hours, but the staff at an area hospital said the victim had not been fed in at least 24 hours, KAUZ reported. The boy was later transported to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, according to KFDX.
Dr. Elizabeth Peeler, with the Fort Worth hospital, told police the victim was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with severe malnutrition and failure to thrive. The victim weighed 15 pounds, 3.4 ounces, less than the first percentile for his age and gender, the television station reported.
Peeler added that the boy weighed 19 pounds when he was 18 months old.
“I see patients for neglect every day,” Peeler wrote in a report, according to KFDX. “This is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. This is really egregious.”
Peeler added that since entering the hospital, the boy has gained weight and is improving. He weighed 17 pounds, 13.4 ounces on Oct. 12, the television station reported.
Jarvey remains in the Wichita County jail with bail set at $70,000, online records show.
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