A suburban Chicago couple was accused Friday of the unthinkable – starving their infant daughter to death.
Markisha Jones, 19, and Gene Edwards, 22, both of Barrington, were initially arrested January 8 after paramedics called to their home found their seven month-old daughter Mya dead on the dining room table.
They were found to have replaced the child’s precious baby formula with water, cereal and the occasional glob of baby food, sources told the Chicago Tribune.
The negligent parents called 911 that evening because the emaciated baby was not breathing, officials said. Both Mya and her twin were observed to be ‘very skinny.’
Further probing found that the pair kept both toddlers in the same crib locked in ‘an unfinished basement that resembled a dungeon,’ Assistant State’s Attorney Alyssa Grissom told the paper.
Mya was found to have died of malnutrition as a result of starvation, authorities said.
The couple were each charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony child endangerment and had their bails set at $250,000 a piece.
Only a space heater prevented the twins from dying from the cold during the harsh Chicago winter while Jones and Edwards lounged in a heated upstairs bedroom, she said.
The impoverished pair admitted to allowing their food stamp benefits lapse, and for not taking their children to doctors since just after their birth, Grissom added.
It is not clear why they were not renewed, and MailOnline messages left with local police seeking more information have not yet been returned.
The surviving baby was brought to a hospital where she returned to full health and then turned over to a foster home.
Her parents are in a cold jail cell awaiting trial, but she’s now in a warm bedroom.