Emaciated Boy's Mother Twice Investigated by CPS
Updated: Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009, 10:28 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009, 9:19 AM CDT
HOUSTON - The family of a 3-year-old boy who weighs only 17 pounds had been investigated twice on allegations of malnourishment and neglect, a Child Protective Services spokeswoman said.
Marcia Holiday, 30, was arrested and charged with injury to a child after officials discovered that her 3-year-old boy weighed only 17 pounds-- the average weight of a 6-month-old child.
Holiday took her 3-year-old son to Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital on Friday and complained that he was not responsive and feeling ill. The toddler's weight was less than half the average weight of 35 pounds for boys his age.
"The mom says that she doesn't know why she didn't seek medical treatment sooner, and she brought him to the hospital Friday because he wasn't eating and had gotten to that point," Olguin says.
But CPS had visited Holiday's home twice before in 2008, but both cases were closed after agency workers found no signs of abuse, the agency's spokeswoman Estella Olguin said.
On Jan. 31, 2008, CPS received a report of medical and physical neglect of the 3-year-old that claimed the child was emaciated, according to a statement issued by CPS. The agency offered services via the Early Childhood Intervention program and discovered the family also was receiving WIC services and food stamps to provide for the toddler and his siblings' nutritional needs.
Then a second report was received on Nov. 1, alleging medical neglect of the same child because it was suspected that the mother was failing to provide his prescribed medication, according to the statement. But CPS saw the child and saw that he had his needed medication on hand and ruled out the allegations of abuse.
However, CPS now plans to revisit the findings with the employee who worked the cases, Olguin said.
Meanwhile, Holiday is being held at the Harris County Jail on a $20,000 bond in connection to the case.
CPS also has taken custody of the boy and his two siblings and placed them in foster care.