Josiah Williams weighed less than 18kg when he died in the care of his stepmother.
In one of the most horrific child abuse cases, 5-year-old Josiah Williams died two days after Christmas in 2012. He was abused, neglected and malnourished. Texas woman, Crystal Williams, was handed a 99-year sentence, KENS 5 reports.
“Josiah’s cause of death is listed as ‘dehydration in a battered, underweight child’,” said Dr. Samantha Evans of the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office.
The boy’s mother Carlotta Balleza described the neglect best in a statement to the court.
“A child died in your care,” she said. “Dogs in the street are better mothers.”
Josiah was in the custody of his father, Charleston Williams, his stepmother and his step-grandmother, Gloria Proo.
Before she was sentenced, Williams, 31, told the jury in San Antonio that Josiah was so tiny because he was picky about his food.
“I even tried compromising with him,” she said. “Giving snacks or doughnuts, just so he would eat something.”
Investigators said it was immediately clear the child was a victim of abuse. He was malnourished, had two black eyes and cuts all over his body. Inside his mouth were deep gashes.
Samantha Evans from the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office was assigned the difficult task of performing an autopsy on Josiah’s body.
Dr Evans said it was immediately clear the boy was severely underweight.
“The young man was very thin in appearance where you could see lots of bone structures from the outside,” she said.
“He also had a number of injuries ranging from what appeared to be acute injuries, things that happened very recently, to wounds that were in the process of healing, as well as a number of scars beyond what we typically see in a five-year-old that comes through our office.”
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