UPDATE 7/29/14 @ 7:15 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The parents of a Mason County boy who died after severe malnutrition appeared Tuesday before a judge.
Preliminary hearings were held for 31-year old Carla Adkins and 25-year-old Jimmie Edwards, each charged with child neglect resulting in the death of their 20-month-old son.
Adkins' hearing was waived, and her bond was dropped to $100,000. If she makes bond, she will be on home confinement and must not be in contact with anyone under 18 years old.
Probable cause was found against Edwards. The case will move on to a grand jury.
Adkins was called to testify against Edwards, but could not because she is part of the investigation, as well.
According to the criminal complaint, Adkins told West Virginia State troopers that Edwards would not allow her to take the baby to doctor visits because he felt the child belonged to her ex-husband. Troopers say Edwards has a 4-year-old daughter who has gone to every wellness visit directed by physicians.
According to the complaint, this all started on March 6 when Adkins and Edwards’ baby died a long, agonizing death due to gross neglect. Doctor Nabila Haikal with the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office says the boy died of anemia.
“Basically heart failure, in the setting of a very severe, profound anemia,” says Doctor Haikal. “Just from putting everything together, it is from poor nutrition and poor intake.”
Haikal said the baby was drinking cow’s milk instead of formula, leaving him so malnourished that he was not able to walk or talk.
Investigators say the parents were buying formula with WIC benefits, but would return it for cash and then spend it on drugs, primarily meth.
"It began with internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines and proceeded on to basically brain damage and hardening of the lungs and deterioration of all the organs until the child's body basically gave up," said West Virginia Sgt. Larry O'Bryan.
West Virginia State Police arrested Carla Adkins, 31, of Ashton, and Jimmie Edwards, 25, of the Milton area of Mason County, on Monday.
Each is charged with child neglect resulting in death.
The baby boy, who had Edwards last name, died in March 2013. According the criminal complaints, the baby died the result of “profound anemia due to cow’s milk ingestion and lack of medical care.”
Investigators said the autopsy took more time because of lab backups.
"To be able to determine the exact cause of death is very lengthy and time-consuming and there's only so many medical examiners and pathologists available. We just had to wait the child's turn," O'Bryan said.
According to investigators, the couple used WIC benefits to buy baby formula at a Foodfair and Walmart in Cabell County. They say Edwards would then return that formula to a store for cash. Troopers said the cash was then used to buy drugs, primarily meth.
Trooper says say this began when the infant was only a few months old.
In the criminal compliant, Adkins told troopers that Edwards would not allow her to take the child to the doctor because he felt the boy belonged to her ex-husband. Troopers say that Edwards’s 4-year-old daughter made every wellness visit as directed by doctors.
Adkins also told troopers that she and Edwards are responsible for their child’s death.
Both were arraigned Tuesday morning in Mason County Magistrate Court. Their bond was set at $500,000 each.
They are being held in the Western Regional Jail.
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West Virginia State Police say Carla Adkins, 31, of Ashton, and Jimmie Edwards, 25, of the Milton area of Mason County, were arrested Monday.
Troopers say the couple's baby died in March of 2013. An autopsy showed the baby died of being malnourished.
Troopers tell WSAZ.com the couple used WIC to get baby formula, then returned that formula to the store for cash. Troopers say the two then used that cash to buy meth.
Troopers say the baby was being fed pure cow's milk, which the child's body could not properly process, leading to its death.
Adkins and Edwards have been charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death. They are in the Western Regional Jail.