Parents in jail after starving their baby to death to save money

baby bottleMya Edwards was only 7 months old when she was pronounced dead on the dining room table of a home in a suburban home in Chicago, Illinois. It pains me to tell you that she died of starvation and that her parents, 19-year-old Markesha M. Jones and 22-year-old Gene M. Edwards, are to blame. Oh, and Mya wasn't the only baby being starved, she has a surviving twin sister.

Two months before Mya died, Jones and Edwards stopped giving the baby girls formula and replaced it with bottles filled with water, cereal and baby food. The girls were literally withering away. Of course there is more to this story and these precious babies endured more than starvation.


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All kinds of irresponsibility was going on with these parents. The family was on food stamps, but for some reason the couple allowed them to lapse. Maybe that has something to do with why they stopped giving the babies formula, I don't know, but I do know that formula is expensive.

The babies also hadn't been to see a doctor since last summer. Now, anyone who has had a baby knows that the first year of a baby's life involves quite a few visits to the pediatrician. Then for some incomprehensible reason, these parents kept their twins in the same crib almost all the time in what has been described as "an unfinished basement which resembled a dungeon" with only a space heater to keep them warm.

Take a minute here to absorb what that means. It means that those babies spent a Chicago winter in a cold basement with a space heater, while their parents were upstairs in a heated and comfortable living environment. It is amazing that those children did not freeze to death.

By the time that Edwards called paramedics on January 8, Mya had stopped breathing. Poor little girl.

Markisha Jones and Gene EdwardsAfter months of investigation, Cook County medical examiner's office declared Mya's death a homicide due to malnutrition from starvation. Both Jones and Edwards face involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment charges and are in jail since Saturday with a $250,000 bond each.

Mya's twin was taken into custody after Mya's death. She stayed in the hospital for months learning basic skills and putting on weight. Now that she is in better home she is in a foster home. Bless that little girl.

Images via Thinkstock, Barrington Police Department

Topics: bad parenting  arrest  child abuse  baby