Authorities in Missouri say the parents of a deceased infant allowed the young boy to die as a result of starvation.
According to the New York Post, 31-year-old Phillip Thomas Leon Compton and 33-year-old Jessica Alice Cook were arrested on suspicion of allowing their 6-week-old son to die on February 10.
Authorities say emergency personnel responded to the suspects’ home after receiving a report of child having trouble breathing.
Young Kanaan Leon Compton reportedly lost one pound during the final weeks of his life and weighed just five pounds at the time of his death, as reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
His father allegedly told police that he believed the boy was OK and only inherited a thin frame from his parents.
Others had reportedly expressed concern, including Compton’s mother who allegedly contacted her son after seeing a concerning social media photo of the young child.
When authorities arrived at the parents’ home in February, Kanaan was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.
An autopsy determined he died as a result of malnutrition, likely exacerbated by dehydration.
Compton and Cook were in court last week and charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death.
Through his attorney, Compton seems to be placing the lion’s share of blame on the child’s mother.
“He worked full time and was only assuming his wife was feeding his child,” Lenny Kagan said.
The attorney described Compton as “a first-time parent and a good guy” whose “life has been turned upside down” by the tragedy.
Police reports, however, allege the father behaved inappropriately in response to various red flags, including a failure to make doctor’s appointments and ignoring signs of choking on the day of Kanaan’s death.
As of the latest reports available, both suspects remained behind bars with bail set at $50,000.
[Featured image: Jessica Alice Cook and Phillip Thomas Leon Compton, Jefferson County Jail]