An Indiana couple has been arrested after allegedly starving a 5-year-old child as a form of punishment, police said.
AshLeigh N. Peach, 30, and Johnathan M. Parsley, 28, are accused of letting the little boy waste away to just 32 pounds, before Tipton Police and the Department of Child Services investigating anonymous calls reporting the alleged abuse removed him from their care on June 6, authorities said.
Six other children living in the same house were removed at a later time, cops said.
The 5-year-old boy — who was in the 1.9 percentile for weight of children his age — was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children, where he was treated for severe malnutrition, police said.
It took eight days of treatment before doctors were able to confidently say he would make a full recovery, officials said.
On June 7, Tipton Police searched Peach and Parsley’s home and allegedly found surveillance equipment used to watch for the child attempting to sneak food out of the kitchen.
Officers learned that the seven children in the home shared two bedrooms, one of which was outfitted with an audible door alarm that was allegedly used to keep the 5-year-old boy in the bedroom for long periods of time.
The other bedroom the children were kept in was allegedly equipped with a padlock system, cops said.
On Thursday, Peach and Parsley were arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a level-three felony, authorities said.
Parsley allegedly tried to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended and taken into custody without further incident, police said.
The Tipton County Prosecutor’s Office, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, Riley Children’s Hospital, the Indiana State Police, and the Department of Child Services are assisting Tipton Police in the matter, authorities said.