Couple Charged After Their Infant Daughter Dies Of Starvation

A Chicago-area couple face charges of involuntary manslaughter as a result of a four-month investigation into the starvation death of their seven-month old daughter.

The tragic incident in Barrington, Ill., occurred in early January, but the parents of the infant have just been charged after the medical examiner determined that the cause of death of Mya Edwards was a “homicide due to malnutrition from starvation.”

On January 8, EMTs responding to the parent’s 911 call arrived to find the infant had stopped breathing and was she pronounced dead on a dining room table after they were unable to revive her.

The parents reportedly kept Mya and her twin sister Mia in the same crib in a cold (other than a space heater) basement that a prosecutor described as resembling a dungeon. The twins were apparently often left alone in the basement for long periods of time while their parents lived upstairs. Moreover, according to authorities, Mya did not receive proper nutrition. “About two months before their infant daughter starved to death, prosecutors said, the young couple stopped giving Mya Edwards formula and started giving her a bottle filled with water, cereal and some baby food.”

Reportedly the couple, identified in multiple media accounts as Markisha Jones, 19, and Gene Edwards, 22, let their food stamp eligibility lapse.

Mia, who turned one year old earlier this month, received treatment at a local hospital over several months and is now living in a foster home.

According to Barrington Police Chief David Dorn, “At this point, I don’t know why they did what they did. Our whole statement throughout this has been how incredibly sad it is.”

In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Jones and Edwards were charged on Friday with felony child endangerment, and both were being held in lieu of $250,000 bail. They are due back in court tomorrow.

[image via Shutterstock]

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