Deputies from the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office were called to a medical facility on Saturday, June 17, following a report of possible child abuse. They encountered a harrowing scene where a 9-year-old boy was discovered severely malnourished, weighing only 37 pounds.
The child exhibited bruises on his body and blood coming from his ear. Shockingly, maggots were found in various parts of his body. Further investigation revealed that the boy had been residing with his family in a tent at the Colbert Alloys Park campground for the past two weeks, according to AL.com.
The mother, Deja-Ariaha Geraldine Bankhead, and the stepfather, Demariez Lavonski Mitchell, were present at the medical facility along with two younger children, including a three-month-old infant.
The Colbert County Department of Human Resources was promptly notified to provide assistance in the investigation, and they subsequently took custody of all the children, as confirmed by the Colbert County Sheriff’s Department.
Given the severity of the boy’s condition, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham for immediate medical attention, according to WHNT.
WAAY reported, On June 18, investigators obtained a search warrant for the tent where the family had been staying, leading to the arrest of the parents, Bankhead and Mitchell. They are currently detained in the Colbert County Jail, each facing a $50,000 bond.
This distressing case serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and the need to protect vulnerable children from such appalling acts of abuse and neglect.