Parents charged after two-year-old found weighing 13 pounds


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Reported by: MirandaChristian
Updated: 10/15/2013 5:16 pm Published: 10/09/2013 11:38 am


Tulsa police arrested a couple after DHS reported their 2-year old weighed only 13 pounds.

Police said the Department of Human Services called the Child Crisis unit to report a toddler in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital.

The 2-year-old weighed only 13 pounds. The child had been taken into DHS custody for failure to thrive and was supposed to have weekly weight checks beginning on July 19, 2012. Police say the child had not been medically observed since then.

The child is in critical condition and has already coded once, according to the police report. Police say the parents, Elizabeth Pester and Mark Knapp, left the hospital after just a couple of hours.

Hospital workers told police the mother called and said she wasn't coming back to the hospital until Thursday. The couple lives three miles from the hospital.

Police went to their home to arrest them and found the couple playing video games. Police said Knapp asked if they were there because the baby died. Police told them the baby was still alive.

They are both charged with child neglect. 

FOX23 got this statement from the Department of Human Services: 

"There’s always much more to the story, but DHS is not at liberty to discuss the details of the case. Situations sometimes occur where parents may try to elude DHS or will not cooperate. We do take our responsibility to monitor a child’s safety very seriously. Parents, however, are also responsible for the safety and proper care of their children."


--Mark Beutler, DHS spokesman


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

WyoMoe - 10/16/2013 8:38 AM
0 Votes
This is a prime example and prime candidate couple for Sterilization.

WyoMoe - 10/16/2013 8:31 AM
0 Votes
This is a perfect example as to why some folks should be Sterilized.

chickenhawk79 - 10/9/2013 5:42 PM
1 Vote
I have 4 kids of my own and i struggle, now being a single parent... id take that baby in and give it love and die to feed it and make sure it was taken care of... how gut wrenching !!! Makes me ill and mad !! And esp. When thwy lived 3 f'n miles !!!!! Walk it.... ida never let my baby get to that stage.. but ida never left my babies side either !!! Give me that baby ill love and care for it !!!!

Bekavera1 - 10/9/2013 4:09 PM
1 Vote
They should be arrested for attempted murder. Especially if this sweet baby already coded. This is what is wrong with our society. A person can get a longer punishment for drugs than child abuse. What is it going to take for us to wake up already? This baby to die, maybe 5 or 10 more? Lock their _ss_ss up and throw away the key already. Give this sweet baby to someone who will love him....pained rtsBucie Rebecca Vera

drampa - 10/9/2013 4:05 PM
2 Votes
Why didn't DHS check on the child after the parents missed the first weight check instead of waiting a year, this baby wouldn't be in critical condition if somebody was doing their job. DHS takes children out of homes that need to stay and Leaves children in homes when they need to be removed. There are to many hurt children now days due to these kind of things,Very sad.

AHOBBS - 10/9/2013 2:05 PM
2 Votes
DHS once again has failed a child that really needed them! Worthless parents make me sick someone should lock them in a room and starve their fat asses for two years. Prayers for that poor baby I hope he is safe now from those monsters. We as americans need to make sure both parties pay for what they did to this helpless child.

Bhampton88 - 10/9/2013 1:26 PM
2 Votes
Are you Kidding me ...... This is beyond sad and makes me so sick to hear.. What make me mad is how the heck did DHS give the child back to those worthless parents to begin with without being properly checked up on ... ???? DHS shame on you And SHame on those parents for doing this to this child ... SHAME SHAME >>>>> They did to throw the book at these parents and slap DHS in the face for not doing there job
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