Ohio parents charged in malnourished boy's death


SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- The parents and a grandmother of a malnourished 18-month-old disabled boy have been charged in his death and for poor care provided to five siblings, most of whom also were malnourished and undersized for their ages.

The indictment was unsealed late Monday against Adrienne Bartholomew, 35, and James Brothers, 33, and a grandmother who was caring for the children, Debra Nelson, 62, all of Vermilion.

Each was charged with counts including involuntary manslaughter in the death of Isaac Brothers-Bartholomew, and child endangerment involving five of his six siblings. The parents were named in a 12-count indictment and the grandmother in a 13-count indictment.

The three were arrested Monday and jailed on bonds of more than a quarter-million dollars each.

It wasn't clear Tuesday if any of the three have attorneys. The parents didn't respond to Associated Press interview requests last fall at the time of the boy's death.

The autopsy blamed the death on malnourishment and dehydration.

The boy was found dead in the home after the mother called 911 to report he was unresponsive and "stiff as a board."

After the baby died in November, authorities removed six other children from the home, most of them had disabilities and were malnourished. A 6-year-old weighed 23 pounds, about half the average 40- to 50-pound weight for that age. The oldest child was 11.

All seven were the couple's biological children, social service officials said.

Erie County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Jared Oliver said the indictments were meant to provide justice to the victim.

"We did some checking in the medical records and learned that the child hadn't been seen by a doctor in eight months," Oliver said.

In a report, deputies say Bartholomew told them last fall that five of the seven children "suffer from various severe physical and mental handicaps that require around-the-clock care."

A report by sheriff's deputies at the scene at the time of the death said one room had four cribs and many pieces of medical equipment.