Kansas couple accused of starving and abusing 5-year-old boy

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John Alvin Carter and Elizabeth Francis John Alvin Carter and Elizabeth Francis

A northeast Kansas couple is accused of starving a 5-year-old boy who weighed only 28 pounds by the time he arrived at the hospital.

Elizabeth Francis and John Alvin Carter, of Shawnee, are each charged with child abuse and aggravated endangerment of a child. WDAF reports investigators were called December 21, 2018, to Children's Mercy Hospital for a report of child abuse and neglect. 

Court documents state that doctors diagnosed the boy with malnutrition due to starvation, a distended stomach and a perforated bowel caused by blunt force trauma. The boy also had bruising throughout his body and a cut on his head.

He was sent into emergency surgery and was placed on a feeding tube.

Hospital staff told investigators the boy was also seen about three months prior. He weighed 38 pounds at that time and was down to 28 pounds at the time of his December hospital stay. The Kansas City Fox station, citing court records, reports 28 pounds is a weight common for a 2-year-old.

The boy was immediately taken into protective custody.

Francis initially told detectives that nobody had abused the boy. But she later implicated Carter and accused him of being physically abusive with her as well.

The boy told investigators, “Elizabeth don’t feed me,” and that Francis would tell him she was going to let him starve and he would “be dead.”

Francis and Carter remain jailed on $100,000 bond. Their next court appearance is scheduled for late Thursday morning.

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