Abilene parents arrested after death of 22-month-old child found ’emaciated’ with ‘bruises under his eyes’

Crime

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene parents were arrested after the death of their 22-month-old child who was found ’emaciated’ with ‘bruises under his eyes’.

D’Airess Fuller and Teliea Thomas, both 24, were arrested Thursday and charged with Injury to a Child in connection to the death of the 22-month-old, who was found unresponsive at a home on the 5300 block of Taos Drive May 22.

Court documents reveal the child, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime, “appeared emaciated and had bruises under his eyes.”

During the investigation into his death, police learned the child was born premature in 2018, and shortly after his birth, CPS removed him and two siblings from Thomas and placed them in the care of a family member.

The newly appointed caretaker noticed the child had trouble swallowing, so she took him to the doctor, who diagnosed him with Subglottic Stenosis and gave him a feeding tube.

At this time, the caretaker allowed Thomas to move in with her and taught her how to care for the child, along with a team of nurses who helped provide him with 24-hour care.

With the feeding tube and regular therapy, the child gained weight, but one day, the documents state the family member came home and saw Thomas had left to go back to Abilene with her three kids.

Thomas took the child to the doctor twice after returning to Abilene, where he weighed a documented 18.6 pounds in both October and November 2019.

The child was not taken to any further doctor’s appointments until January, when Thomas took him to West Texas Rehab to start a feeding therapy plan.

She then, according to the documents, declined all followup visits due to concerns over COVID-19 and eventually asked for him to be discharged from therapy.

An autopsy of the child reveals his cause of death was “homicide due to malnutrition.” He weighed 15.8 pounds when he was found dead.

Samples taken from his brain were sent to the lab for further testing.

Additional charges could be issued against Fuller and Thomas as the investigation continues.

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