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Missouri Couple Charged In Death Of Emaciated 10-year-old

This undated photo provided by the Dent County Sheriff's Office in Salem, Mo., shows Randall Abney. Abney and his wife Susan Abney, are jailed on $500,000 bond on a charge of abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death. The charge was filed after the Oct. 3, 2020, death of their daughter, who was identified in court records by her initials of JAA.  (Dent County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This undated photo provided by the Dent County Sheriff's Office in Salem, Mo., shows Randall Abney. Abney and his wife Susan Abney, are jailed on $500,000 bond on a charge of abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death. The charge was filed after the Oct. 3, 2020, death of their daughter, who was identified in court records by her initials of JAA. (Dent County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A 10yearold Missouri girl whose parents have been charged in her death was so emaciated that a detective said she looked "like a Holocaust victim," according to court records.

MISSION, Kan.: A 10-year-old Missouri girl whose parents have been charged in her death was so emaciated that a detective said she looked “like a Holocaust victim,” according to court records.

The girl, who is identified in court records as JAA, died Oct. 3. A cause of death hasnt been determined.

Randall and Susan Abney, of Salem, have been charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death, and are jailed on $500,000 bond. Online court records do not list attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

A Dent County deputy coroner said the girl weighed just 39.8 pounds (18 kilograms), including the weight of a body bag, blanket and attached medical equipment. Typically, a 10-year-old girl would weigh 70 to 75 pounds (32 to 34 kilograms), court records said.

A doctor who tried to resuscitate JAA after she collapsed said she was so dehydrated that he wasnt able to draw blood, Sgt. Matt Atkinson, a detective with the Dent County Sheriffs Office, wrote in the probable cause statement.

My first … impression of viewing JAAs body was she appeared like a Holocaust victim, Atkinson wrote.

He said several of the girls bones were showing and that he observed bruises on her temple, legs, arms and chest. There also was a wound on the bridge of her nose.

The Abneys adopted the girl in 2013, and Susan Abney told investigators they had fostered at least 12 other children, according to the probable cause document. Court documents do not specify if other children were living in the home when JAA died. Salem is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis.

Sheriff Bob Wells didnt immediately return phone and email messages from The Associated Press. Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Curley also didnt immediately respond to a phone message.

Authorities who searched the home found a child lock on the refrigerator that was hard to manipulate and food stored in cabinets that were too high up for the girl to reach. A lock on JAA’s bedroom door allowed her to be locked in from the outside, and the door was rigged with an alarm.

Investigators found a stash of candy and cookies in a dresser in the parents’ bedroom.

The Abneys said JAA was homeschooled and that she was a typical child until about a week and a half before her death, when she stopped eating and complained of being constipated. They didnt know of any medical issues, Atkinson wrote.

Susan Abney said she felt bad seeing JAA emaciated and thought about taking her to a doctor. When asked why she didnt, she replied, I dont know. She later blamed her own stupidity, and said I was too scared of what they would think, Atkinson wrote.

Asked who was responsible for the girls death, she said, Me and Randy, according to the probable cause statement.

Randall Abney said the girl had always been skinny and acts fine except for not eating.” He said it wasn’t the first time she had stopped eating, Atkinson wrote.

Department of Social Services spokeswoman Rebecca Woelfel said the agency is only able to comment about abuse cases in limited circumstances and only after an investigation is completed.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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