Police say that three young children in Halifax Township, Pennsylvania, may have eaten paint to survive while reportedly locked up in their rooms for months by their parents. Both mother and father are facing felony child abuse charges.
People reports that Brandi and Joshua Weyant, both of Halifax Township, are accused of locking their three children, ages 4, 5 and 6, in their room for months, in an attempt to deliberately starve them. Prosecutors in the case said that the kids were “lucky to be alive.” After surveying the kids’ bedrooms, which locked from the outside, they noticed paint peeled from the walls, likely because the children were eating it.
“The door to the room was locked from the outside and the paint on the wall was peeled off at the height of the kids,” said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
— Courtney Highfield (@CourtneyCBS21) December 27, 2016
Authorities were alerted to the children after a social services worker visited the family home on December 15. Sensing something was off when she saw one of the children, the worker immediately called the police. Authorities took the children from the home the following day. They were rushed to Penn State Hershey Medical Center; two of them were close to death.
According to court documents, all three kids were caked in dirt, urine, feces, and animal hair. They were malnourished, underweight, and in clear need of medical attention.
“They were allowed to essentially waste away in a locked room without any nourishment while, at the same time, animals in the house were well fed,” Marisco said.
For reasons unknown, Brandi, 38, told detectives that the children didn’t belong to her or Joshua, yet all three kids have the couples’ last name. She also blamed her husband for abusing the children, and declared she couldn’t take them out in public once the abuse started.
Both Brandi and Joshua were arrested and charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, child endangerment, conspiracy, false imprisonment, and unlawful restraint. They’re being held on a $1 million bond, each.
Meanwhile, foster parents are taking care of the children. Upon release from the hospital, one of the kids was rushed back for medical treatment. They’ll likely need ongoing medical treatment and psychological counseling.
[Feature photo by Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office]