Indiana police officials say a couple, AshLeigh N. Peach, 30, and 28-year-old Johnathan M. Parsley, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly starving a 5-year-old boy, who weighed 32 pounds, as punishment. My Fox 8 reports that on June 5, an anonymous call was made to the Tipton police and the Department of Child Services (DCS) to make a child abuse report.
Deputies with the Tipton Police Department and DCS were dispatched to the home that Peach and Parsley shared, which is located in the 100 block of Fourth Street. The child was removed from the home and taken to Riley Hospital for Children where doctors say he was treated for severe malnutrition.
The relationship between the Tipton couple and the child has not been determined, but it was purported that the boy, who had been living with the couple for six months, was starved as punishment while in Peach and Parsley’s care, and he weighed 32 pounds. Police say he was in the “1.9 percentile for the weight of children his age.”
Six other children were reportedly found in Peach and Parsley’s home and they were removed at a later date, but none of the children — whose ages are between 4 and 9 — were treated for abuse, according to the Tipton Police Department.
Two days after Tipton police officials received a tip about a child being starved as punishment, the couple was served with a warrant to search their home. Deputies learned that one of the bedrooms that the children shared was “equipped with an audio door alarm,” as well as a padlock system.
Police believe that it was utilized to monitor the children and to ensure that they did not leave the room. Surveillance equipment was also found inside of the bedroom as well as the kitchen, which was allegedly used to find out when the children would sneak food or snacks from the kitchen.
Court documents indicate that the children told police officials that the victim was “always in trouble, slept on the floor without blankets and had not eaten in about two days.”
“If the child tried to eat the other kids’ food, they said Peach told the kids to hit, punch, and kick the boy. An arrest warrant was issued for the Tipton couple.”
Tipton police found evidence that the boy was “eating animal feces.”
“This child is somewhat brain-washed and has some social behavioral issues that have arisen from the physical abuse and the emotional abuse,” according to Tipton police officer Brad Robbins.
The couple was charged with “neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a level 3 felony.”
The child abuse case is being investigated by the Tipton Police Department and Indiana State Police.
[Featured Image by Tipton Police Department]