Police: Mom, grandparents nearly starved Mercer County boy, 7
GREENVILLE, Pa. — A 7-year-old boy Mercer County boy was nearly starved to death, suffered regular beatings and resorted to catching insects to eat during brief times he was allowed outside, police said in charging his mother and grandparents with assault and other offenses. Child welfare workers, responding to a complaint, found the child looking like a human skeleton in home in Greenville last month, The Sharon Herald reported Saturday.
The mother, 28-year-old Mary C. Rader, and the grandparents who lived with them, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana Beighley, 47, were charged with assault, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering a child's welfare and conspiracy.
Online court records did not list attorneys for them. A home phone number could not be located.
The boy weighed 25 pounds when taken to a hospital last month, and has since gained 20 pounds, authorities said.
“The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food. He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from,” said Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children's Hospital Child Advocacy Center.
“It is impossible to me that this severe neglect and active abuse was not visible. He was being starved in his own home around others of normal weight,” she stated.
The boy's two sisters, ages 4 and 11, appeared healthy, while a 9-year-old brother was underweight but not as severely as the 7-year-old.
According to police, Rader decided to homeschool the 7-year-old last year, and he was not allowed outside the house except to the back porch, where he would sometimes eat the bugs he caught. He was fed small amounts of tuna and eggs and suffered beatings with a belt — particularly when he sneaked food, usually peanut butter and bread, police said.
He was forced to take ice-cold showers as punishment — the only showers he was allowed — and had two abscessed teeth that had to be removed, police said.
Wolford described it as the worst case of medical neglect that the hospital's doctors have encountered.
Rader and the Beighleys were released on bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 30.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Judge lifts order blocking racy state emails
- Armed officers comb woods for state trooper ambush suspect
- Search for trooper ambush suspect centers on dense woods
- Pa. transportation system ranks 41st in nation, study shows
- Pennsylvania teachers sue union over nonmember fee donations
- Rules for Pennsylvania district judges reworked
- Suburban Philadelphia high school coach resigns over role in gay beating
- Couple in Craigslist slaying sentenced