An Oklahoma woman is facing felony child neglect charges after she starved her two children and forced them to eat animal feces. Authorities arrested Mary Elizabeth Moore of Miami, Oklahoma, after her 3 and 5-year-old children were rushed to the hospital. The children weighed only 18 and 26 pounds.
According to a report on KFOR, the children were rushed to the hospital and hospitalized for severe malnutrition. Hospital staff alerted authorities after the children were admitted to the intensive care unit. Both children were severely malnourished. The 5-year-old weighed only 26 pounds and the 3-year-old was 18 pounds.
Due to the severe malnutrition, doctors placed nasal feeding tubes in the children. Both children developed re-feeding syndrome and were critically ill. When the Department of Human Services arrived at the hospital, they interviewed the older child.
According to the girl, her mother fed her dog feces. She told DHS that her mother would cook the waste product and force her to eat it. She said that her mother never fed her vegetables.
Additionally, she said that her mother’s boyfriend threw bottles at her younger brother. She also told DHS she witnessed inappropriate behavior between her mother and her boyfriend.
Doctors told DHS and police that the girl had pinworms in her stools. The doctors said the worms were likely from the little girl being forced to eat animal waste.
When police learned about the children, they brought Moore in for an interview. She denied neglecting or starving her children. Moore admitted t0 police that she had been dealing with DHS since her daughter was a year old.
Police told KFOR that Moore was in complete denial about the state of her children. Instead, she blamed DHS for hospitalizing the children for losing a 1/2 pound. Moore told police she did not want the children hospitalized because she had a meeting with DHS the next day.
According to police, Moore has a long history with DHS. Delaware county undersheriff Tracy Shaw told KFOR that Moore had multiple complaints with DHS for child neglect and malnourishment issues. However, no one had ever reported the neglect to law enforcement.
During the interview with police, Moore denied she fed the children feces. She got angry and walked out of the meeting.
Shaw told KFOR that the case was one of the most extreme child neglect cases he had ever seen. He went on to say that had the situation not been reported to law enforcement the children would have died. Shaw said,
“As the investigator got around to the actual allegations, she became very upset and walked out of the interview,” Shaw said. “If somebody had not reported this, the hospital records and the child abuse expert that examined them in Tulsa stated that they would probably be dead.”
According to court records, her initial court appearance was last week where she was assigned a public defender. Moore’s next court appearance will be on April 30, 2019.
Thankfully the children are finally safe from their mother. However, there are a lot of questions about this case. According to medical and county records, DHS had dealt with numerous complaints against Moore for neglect and malnourishment. If the county was monitoring Moore, why didn’t they report her case to the police?
An average five-year-old should weigh over 5o pounds. Why did the county allow her to maintain custody when the children were severely malnourished? Finally, why didn’t anyone in these children’s lives step up and report Moore to authorities for the abuse?
While the children are now safe, so many people let these children down. Not only did their mother starve them, but she tortured them by making them eat animal feces. The children are lucky that they just developed worms from animal waste. They could have gotten far iller than they were.
This mother should never be allowed access again to her children. The kids deserve to be in a home where they receive proper medical care and nutrition. The horror these children experienced is beyond comprehension. Thank goodness someone finally stepped in and saved them from their mother.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
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