Kimberly Haygood and Anthony Jones, mom and dad to three children in Sarasota, Florida, are under arrest this week after the mom’s desperate sister begged her to take the kids to see a doctor, due to their extremely underweight and sickly conditions — conditions so bad that one of the couple’s 4-year-old twins “looked like a skeleton,” according to one police investigator quoted by the Tampa Tribune.
“The sight of the four-year-old boy took my breath away… He looked like a skeleton. His body was skin and bones. He has no hair because of lack of nutrients. He has a skin rash and marks from the lack of nutrients. He is non-verbal and cannot talk.”
The couple also have an older boy, age 6. The kids live with their mother, the 27-year-old Kimberly Haygood, but the dad, Anthony Jones, 30, visits the home in a public housing development on a frequent basis, according to the older boy’s statements to Sarasota Child Protection workers, according to a report by WFLA-TV News.
When Jones is home, according to what the 6-year-old reportedly told the child protection officials, be will often strike the 4-year-old twins with a belt if he finds that one or both makes a “boo boo” in his or her pants.
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The 6-year-old and 4-year-old boys each bore visible markings and scars that appeared to come from the belt beatings, though the 4-year-old girl did not, according to police.
The 4-year-old boy weighed 22 pounds and his twin sister weighed 26 pounds when their parents were taken into custody on last week. Those weights are typical not of 4-year-old children, but of 11-month-old babies, medical professionals said.
Interviewed by investigators, Jones claimed that the 4-year-old was fed a diet of Pediasure, but doctors who checked the little boy out told police that they were skeptical of her claim because when they examined the child they found his intestines totally empty.
“Everyone is born with the ability to chew. If you don’t use that ability, you cannot develop it and unfortunately detectives believe that these children have never been able to chew food in their lives because they have never been fed food,” Genevieve Judge, spokesperson for the Sarasota sheriff’s department told WFTS-TV.
Watch the full WFTS report on the horrifying child abuse case in the video below.
“I am happy they got caught. They are babies and can’t feed for themselves. They need someone to take care of them,” one neighbor who knew Haygood and Jones told the station.
“It’s all of our faults that we did not say anything. If we see something, we should call,” neighbor Whitney Douglas said. “Even if it is me, someone should call. I don’t know why I didn’t. Just stupid, and not wanting to get into anyone’s business.”
Douglas also said that she often saw Haygood returning home with bags of groceries, so she knew the couple was able to afford food.
The five-foot-five-inch Haygood weighed 195 pounds when she was busted, police said.
The couple were still behind bars as of late Monday, held on $50,000 bail for Haygood and $60,000 bail for Jones. Both members of the couple were ordered by a judge to have no contact with the children or each other.
Kimberly Haygood and Anthony Jones were each hit with two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect with great bodily harm. Haygood also received a third charge of child neglect, while police slapped Jones with an additional child abuse charge.
[Photos via Sarasota Police Department]