A 41-year-old Pennsylvania mother is facing chargers after police discovered an "extremely malnourished" 16-year-old boy in her care, USA Today reports.
That mother, 41-year-old Elisabet Estrada, is now facing felony charges for aggravated assault and child endangerment.
Police in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania assisted Franklin County Children and Youth Services in order to secure the teenager. This actually occurred on October 24, but was not learned by the public until documents were released by the municipal court, according to reporter Carley Bonk.
When the boy was admitted to a local hospital he weighed just 26 pounds. Court documents state that he was "very frail, gaunt, ribs extremely evident and ravenously hungry."
The boy was skeletal, and police wrote that he "laid in bed in the fetal position in a way that appeared as though he didn't have the ability to stretch out in his bed."
Other children at the home "appeared to be in good general health."
Children and Youth Services say that Estrada hadn't used early intervention services or therapy in 15 years.
Police state that the boy "ruminated his food" in a manner that made them think he couldn't get any at home. When he did have food he is said to have regurgitated and re-ate it.
Court documents say Estrada told the genetics testing personnel at a local medical center that her son "has no medical issues that require hospitalization." She claimed to have done "everything" for the teen, and wasn't sure why she couldn't treat him herself. Police add that she "voiced anger" at the specialist who was providing her son with treatment. Estrada also reportedly expressed confusion over why she had no choice in her son's treatment.
Police say that the boy was homeschooled. They say it looked as if the teen "had limited interaction outside of the mother and three other children."
Estrada claims she provided medical services for him throughout his life.
The boy ended up staying at the Hershey Medical Center for nearly six weeks, from October 23 through December 2. Court records say he weighed 45 pounds when he left the center. He also grew in height.
Doctors who were contacted by police said it was their opinion that his health issues were caused by malnutrition and medical neglect.
On January 17, Estrada was booked into county jail. Her bond is $25,000.
She will have a preliminary hearing on January 28.