Indiana couple arrested after neglected child was found ‘extremely emaciated,’ weighed 23 pounds

Tabitha Rupert, Jay Rupert, via Jasper County Sheriff’s Office

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JASPER COUNTY, Ind. – An Indiana couple is accused of child neglect after their 12-year-old child was found “extremely emaciated,” weighing just 23 pounds.

Jay Rupert, 50, and Tabitha Rupert, 41, of Rensselaer, were arrested Tuesday on three counts each of neglect of a dependent, WXIN reports.

“The child was diagnosed from birth with a non-curable brain disorder which required constant care,” Jasper County Sheriff Terry Risner said in a written release.

The state Department of Children and Family Services removed the child from the couple’s home in June 2014, NBC News reports.

Doctors said the 12-year-old weighed just 23 pounds at the time and diagnosed the child with “failure to thrive,” noting other “physical ailments associated with improper care.”

Detectives also discovered that the child was not enrolled in school.

According to the release, it took two years for any charges to be filed because the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office needed “additional information.”

Risner told NBC News that the child is now “thriving and is living in much better circumstances.

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