A young Chicago couple has been hit with homicide charges in the death of their 7-month old daughter, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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According to officials, Markisha Jones (pictured left), 19, and Gene Edwards (pictured right), 22, stopped giving their daughter formula two months before her death. Instead, they filled her bottle with water, cereal and baby food. When Edwards called paramedics to his home Jan. 8, little Mya was not breathing. She was pronounced dead on a dining room table. Prosecutors claim the girl was very skinny and so was her surviving sister.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Mya’s death a homicide from malnutrition. Assistant State Attorney Alyssa Grissom claims the two left their twins in a crib most of the time. The girls also stayed in “an unfinished basement which resembled a dungeon.” They remained there with a space heater, even though the parents were offered an upstairs bedroom. Edwards reportedly noticed Mya’ weight loss, but did nothing about it, Grissom added.
Neither child had undergone medical checkups since last summer, prosecutors added. Edwards and Jones had let their supplemental benefits in the Women, Infants and Children program expire as well.
Mya’s sister has been placed under foster care after a hospital stay. She has managed to gain weight and her health has reportedly improved.
Jones and Edwards were arrested Friday. The couple faces involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment charges. They are being held on $250,000 bail.