Blind teen found nearly starved to death; parents charged

Neglect Graphic

LONGMONT, CO (KDVR/CNN) – A special-needs teen is in the hospital after nearly starving to death.

His parents will face felony child abuse and neglect charges.

Neighbors said they had no idea what was happening in the home, as the boy starved, becoming dangerously ill.

“That’s messed up,” said Saldaeor Ayala, a neighbor. “I don’t even know how they didn’t even find out earlier, before that.”

Police arrested the boy’s parents, David and Vanessa Hall, on Wednesday.

They were each charged with two felony complaints.

“We did a thorough investigation,” said Det. Sgt. Matthew Cage, a member of the Longmont Police Department. “We’re still conducting more follow up on it.”

Doctors told police the 17-year-old boy – who is believed to suffer from autism and blindness – weighed just 88 pounds, was in shock and suffering from severe malnutrition.

A team of veteran doctors told detectives they had never seen vitamin levels so low.

One doctor said the boy’s condition was “consistent with someone who would have been in a concentration camp for several years.”

“There’s no excuse, that we wouldn’t expect, something that, out of nowhere, it’s just a little bit scary,” said neighbor Juan Lara.

The parents tell police their son refused to consume anything but Cheez-Its, Cheetos, Doritos and up to eight sodas per day.

They failed to seek assistance to get the boy the nutrients his body was craving, and police are using the situation as an example.

“If you have somebody in distress, use those resources,” said Cage. “If you’re unsure of what the resources are and you have somebody in distress, by all means – contact the police department.”

Doctors said it will take at least a month of intense medical treatment before the boy can be out of danger.

It will likely take six months for the boy to achieve an appropriate weight.

Jail records show the mother, Vanessa Hall, was bonded out on Wednesday; she is due back in court Sep. 20, 2016.

The father, David Hall, was still behind bars as of late Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.