Shawnee couple accused of starving and abusing 5-year-old boy

SHAWNEE, Kan. — A Shawnee couple is accused of starving a 5-year-old boy so badly that he only weighed 28 pounds.

Elizabeth Francis and John Alvin Carter each face one count of abuse of a child under 18 and one count of aggravated endangerment of a child in Johnson County court.

According to court documents, on Dec. 21, 2018, investigators were called to Children’s Mercy Hospital on a report of child abuse and neglect.

John Alvin Carter and Elizabeth Francis

Doctors diagnosed the boy with malnutrition due to starvation, a distended stomach and a perforated bowel caused by blunt force trauma. The boy was also suffering from bruising throughout his body and a cut on the top of his head.

He was sent into emergency surgery and was placed on a feeding tube.

Staff at the hospital told investigators that the child was last seen at the hospital on Sept. 26, 2018. At that time, he weighed 38 pounds, but by the time he was seen in December, his weight had dropped to 28 pounds, a weight common for a 2-year-old.

The boy was immediately taken into protective custody.

Elizabeth Francis initially told detectives that nobody had abused the boy, who lived with her and John Carter. After questioning, she implicated Carter and accused him of being physically abusive with her as well.

Once the victim was released from the hospital, he told investigators that, “Elizabeth don’t feed me.” He also said that Francis would tell him that she was going to let him starve and that he would “be dead.”

Both Francis and Carter are jailed on $100,000 bond. Their next court appearance is Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Johnson County court.

 

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