Authorities charged an Illinois couple from Jerseyville with first-degree murder after their 6-year-old son died last week of malnutrition because they allegedly withheld food to punish him. The six-year-old boy died on Friday. The boy weighed just 17 lbs. at the time of his death.
The parents. also face a felony count of child endangerment related to the boy who died and a misdemeanor count of child endangerment for their treatment of their 7-year-old son. In fact, starting in December 2015, Michael and Georgena “knowingly and intentionally caused [the 6-year-old] to become extremely malnourished, leaving the said 6-year-old child … to starve to death.” A pathologist cited the boy’s cause of death as “failure to thrive due to ‘extreme malnourishment,’ ”
Couple killed son by malnutrition
The parents are being held in the Jersey County Jail with bail set at $500,000 apiece. Charged in the case are Michael Roberts, the father, and stepmother Georgena Roberts, both 42. A total of five children lived in the home with the couple, but are now in protective custody. One of the couple's neighbors said that they were a very secretive family. “All these people that are wanting children that can't have children and they go and do something like that,” a neighbor said to media. Both Robert and Georgena are scheduled for another court hearing on November 13.