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Kent couple arrested, charged with child abuse
Kent Police have arrested a Kent couple and charged them with child abuse after they allegedly neglected and starved their 2-month-old baby.
The police report states that when Stephanie Mitchell brought her daughter, identified as PMK in the report, to Seattle Children's Hospital on July 2, doctors saw the girl was malnourished, emaciated and had dry and scaly skin.
PMK was born with a muscular disease that requires her to have physical therapy, a feeding tube and a Public Health nurse. The police report claims that Mitchell had cancelled or not shown at several appointments for her daughter, and also had not coordinated to have a nurse visit her home.
When PMK was born, the report continues, she was given a feeding tube, but Mitchell claims that she dislodged the feeding tube. Mitchell said that a doctor "on the seventh floor" of the hospital said that the girl didn't need the tube.
Kent Police Detectives Angie Galettie and Derrick Focht responded to a child protective services fax from the hospital, and conducted several interviews with Mitchell. The suspected neglect case brought in Dr. Rebecca Weister to examine the baby. According to the report, PMK didn't cry or make noise and looked dazed and lethargic.
Weister, Focht and Galettie sat down to question Mitchell about feeding her daughter, and she responded that she had tried different bottles and formulas, as well as trying to feed the girl rice cereal and sugar water, the report said.
Later that day, the detectives also interviewed Mitchell's boyfriend, Anthony King, who said that he would feed the girl three to four times during a six-hour stay at the house, according to the report.
But when officers interviewed neighbor Kamela Wood and her daughter, Tiana, they saw a different story of the conditions at the house. They said that the couple's two other children were well cared for, but PMK was usually ignored, the report said. Tiana claimed that Mitchell would rarely engage or interact with her daughter and usually ignored her even after she soiled her diaper, the report said.
Mitchell's sister, Christina Jones, told detectives in a phone interview that she always saw Mitchell feeding her daughter when she visited, and never thought to be concerned about her weight or condition.
The couple were arraigned Aug. 15 and conditionally released from King County Jail with a no contact order for their daughter.