A Pennsylvania woman is facing criminal charges after she was accused of starving three young children—ages 12, 9, and 2—she was taking care of for seven months.
Citing a criminal complaint, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Jennifer Stout, 35, began caring for the children this summer after their mother placed them in her care. The relationship between Stout and the mother remains unclear.
Police reportedly got involved after the kids’ grandfather posted to social media inquiring their whereabouts. Stout is said to have responded to the post, resulting in the grandfather arranging for the children’s aunt to retrieve them from the Wilkinsburg residence.
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The aunt told police of “deplorable conditions” at the home, alleging that her 2-year-old nephew was lying on a mat and that all three children were filthy and “severely unkempt.” According to the Post-Gazette, the aunt said they looked so thin that she took them to the hospital.
The complaint stated that all three children had lost weight—with the toddler boy reportedly going from 27 pounds in September to 19 when he was recently examined. The Tribune-Review reported that the 12-year-old girl had lost 19 pounds since September while the 9-year-old girl had lost 14 pounds since July.
Moreover, police said the toddler had ligature marks on his wrists and ankles, was bruised all over, and was suffering from hair loss possibly related to being starved.
WTAE reported that Stout told investigators that the children’s mother didn’t want them and left them in her care. She reportedly denied intentionally starving the children but admitted that she should’ve sought medical attention for them sooner.
Stout was charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and recklessly endangering another person. She’s being held in jail on $25,000 bail.
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[Featured Image: Jennifer Stout/Allegheny County]