HAGERSTOWN, Md. (TCD) — A father faces charges after police found his malnourished son dead last week with bruises and sores.
According to a news release from the Hagerstown Police Department, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at around 12:51 p.m., officers responded to a home on the 200 block of North Locust Street in reference to an unresponsive 6-year-old boy. Authorities found the child dead at the scene and determined he had suffered from “severe malnutrition and starvation.”
Police identified the victim’s father, Andre Ford, as the primary suspect, and allege that he neglected to “provide proper care and medical treatment to the child.”
According to the Herald-Mail, officers discovered the deceased boy on the floor with a pillow under his head and shoulders. He was reportedly wearing sweats, but his arms were not inserted through the designated armholes. The child allegedly weighed about 32 pounds.
Police reportedly noticed that the victim’s hair was wet, and he felt cold. The child had sustained bruising all over his body, as well as open sores and suspected “cigarette burns,” the Herald-Mail reports.
Preliminary findings from the autopsy reportedly determined the victim had possibly been dead for two days before the discovery.
According to police, officers found another young boy, age 5, and removed him from the home for medical treatment. He also reportedly showed signs of malnourishment and had not been fed.
Ford reportedly told officers he last saw his 6-year-old son alive at approximately 9 p.m. the previous day playing with his brother. Ford allegedly explained that he poured water on his son’s face to wake him up and that’s why his hair was wet.
According to a charging document obtained by the Herald-Mail, Ford said his 6-year-old son had been misbehaving and wouldn’t eat because he wanted his biological mother back in his life. Ford allegedly spanked his son and said he tried to feed him. The Herald-Mail reports that Ford said he last brought his son to a doctor approximately a month ago.
Police arrested Ford on charges of first-degree child abuse resulting in death, first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury, and neglect of a minor. He was booked into the Washington County Detention Center.
According to the Herald-Mail, Ford appeared in court on Friday, Dec. 1, and a judge ordered him to be held without bond. Ford faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of first-degree child abuse resulting in death.