EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – An Edmond mother has been sentenced following a disturbing case of child neglect.

In February of 2021, a DHS Child Welfare Specialist contacted the Edmond Police Department about severe neglect of an 8-year-old boy.

Neighbors called DHS after seeing the boy sneaking out of the home to dig through a dumpster for food.

At the time of the case worker’s visit, the child stood just over 3-feet-tall, and weighed 30 pounds.

Officials say he wore size 3T clothing, which is the size of the average 2.5-year-old, according to the World Health Organization.

“His stomach is distended, yet he is extremely skinny, and his skin is sagging,” the case worker reported.

The case worker took the 8-year-old to Children’s Hospital, where a doctor said, “At a minimum this case is medical neglect, possibly shocking and heinous.”

The child was immediately placed in DHS custody.

Following an investigation by the Edmond Police Department, investigators learned that the child had only gained six pounds in seven years.

Officials learned that the child’s parents claimed he was on a ‘no sugar’ diet and would only feed him crackers.

While at the hospital, an officer asked if he could buy the boy some food from the cafeteria and the child’s mother, Akemi Cox, said no.

In fact, the affidavit states that while in the hospital, Cox would actually take away food from the boy, saying it contained ‘too much sugar.’

Police arrested Akemi Cox and her fiancé, Valerio Garcia.

Cox was ultimately charged with three counts of child neglect and two counts of child abuse by injury.

Garcia was charged with one count of child abuse, but that charge was dismissed at the request of the state.

Cox pleaded guilty to one count of child neglect, and pleaded no contest to the other charges.

She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.