An Oklahoma mother was sentenced on Thursday to 30 years in prison for starving her eight-year-old son, WKRC reported.
Akemi Cox pleaded guilty to one count of child neglect and pleaded no contest to child abuse by injury. Neighbors called child services in February of 2021 “after seeing the boy digging through a dumpster for food,” according to the report. A case worker reported that the boy was roughly 30 pounds and a little over three feet tall.
“His stomach is distended, yet he is extremely skinny and his skin is sagging,” the case worker said of the boy, who was also reportedly wearing clothing meant for a toddler.
The child was taken to a hospital for treatment. While he was there, an officer offered to buy him food, “but Cox refused.” According to the report, the affidavit states that his mother even took food from him during treatment and claimed it had “too much sugar.”
“At a minimum this case is medical neglect, possibly shocking and heinous,” a doctor said.
Cox admitted she put him on a “no sugar diet” and only fed him crackers. Investigators found that the child had only put on six pounds in seven years.
Cox previously lost custody of five other children before her arrest, authorities said.
“Her fiancé, Valerio Garcia, was initially charged with child abuse, but the state had that charge dismissed,” according to the report.
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