Oklahoma couple charged with child neglect after 8-year-old found weighing 30 pounds

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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – An Edmond couple has been charged with child neglect after their 8-year-old son weighed just 30 pounds.

In February, 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 36-year-old 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 61-year-old Valerio Garcia.

According to court records, Cox was charged with two counts of child neglect while Garcia was charged with a single count of child neglect.

As of March 19, DHS says the child is doing well and had gained over 15 pounds in foster care.

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