OKC Police Investigate After Toddler Weighing Only 14 Pounds Was Admitted To Hospital
Doctors at OU Children's Hospital are keeping a close eye on a metro toddler.
The child was brought to the hospital’s emergency room on Tuesday, and police said she weighed only 14 pounds. Police have arrested the 2-year-old’s parents on complaints of child neglect.
"The 2-year-old was starved nearly to the point of death,” said Master Sgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department.
Police said the toddler's aunt forced Jamie Manda, 32, to take her daughter to the hospital because of her size. Medical staff noted the child “appeared emaciated and starved."
Manda told doctors the toddler started losing weight over the last two weeks.
Court documents indicate the toddler has a medical condition that requires her to have a shunt in her head that drains into the stomach. Doctors told investigators the victim's parents only brought her in for one follow-up visit since the shunt surgery in 2018.
"The child had a preexisting medical condition,” said Knight. "Which makes it even more heinous when you consider how this child was treated and neglected.”
Investigators said the child was in such poor condition, the shunt in her body could be seen under the skin.
"This child had very little body fat, very little body function because of being starved for so long,” Knight said.
Police and child protective services were notified and they interviewed the mother first.
Manda told them she is the toddler's primary caretaker and was always with her, even taking her to work at a daycare. She allowed police to search her home. Officers found baby food and plenty of other food at the home.
Investigators also spoke to the father, Antoine Smith, 29, who has been in jail since late November.
“The father had already been booked into jail on domestic abuse charges,” said Knight. “He was already sitting in jail when this charge was added to him.”
The child is still in the hospital and doctors told police she is still at risk due to complications that can happen during the re-feeding process