Adopted Son Starved: 8-Year-Old Weighed Only 35 Pounds

North Mankato, MN – Authorities have arrested a couple after it was determined their adopted son had been purposely starved, according to the Pioneer Press.

Mona Hauer and Russell Hauer have been slapped with six felonies for starving their adopted child. The 8-year-old was reportedly so malnourished that his stomach was distended and his bones protruded from his skin. For their crimes, the couple will be charged with neglect and malicious punishment of a child.

Unfortunately, the family’s cruelty didn’t end with starvation. The Hauers allegedly beat the boy with a broom handle, made him sleep in the basement, and forced him to use the bathroom in a bucket. The child’s brothers and sisters — including his own biological siblings — would bathe him with a garden hose two or three times a week.

The Examiner reports that the boy was kept on a strict liquid diet. While the other family memebers ate dinner, the child was forced to watch them consume a variety of solid food. At one point, the boy became so hungry that he was spied eating from a compost pile.

The adopted child’s condition was discovered after he was taken to a local hospital after he vomited blood. In addition to being in the third percentile in both size and development, the boy was suffering from a slow heartbeat, anemia, and brain atrophy.


Mona and Russell Hauer reportedly kept an alarm on her adopted son’s bedroom door to prevent the boy from sneaking out and stealing food. The child told authorities that he often regurgitated his food “because he wanted the taste of food and he did not know when he would eat again.”

Sadly it would appear that the parents feel little remorse for allowing the 8-year-old boy to suffer for so long. Russell Hauer explained that the boy’s eating habits were his way of controlling the family. By being taken the hospital and receiving treatment, the adopted child had essentially “gotten his way.”

The boy was still receiving treatment for malnourishment on Monday. What do you think should happen to the couple who starved their adopted son?