Illinois parents charged with 6-year-old's starvation death

Posted at 11:56 AM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 11:56:35-05

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois father and stepmother are charged with first-degree murder in the starvation death of their 6-year-old boy, who authorities said weighed 17 pounds.

Jerseyville police say officers responded to a hospital Friday to investigate the death of a malnourished child. Police said their investigation found the couple withheld food from the deceased 6-year-old and a 7-year-old as punishment. They were among six children living in the Roberts' Jerseyville home about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of St. Louis.

Police say the surviving children were taken into protective custody.

Records show 42-year-old Michael Roberts and 42-year-old Georgena Roberts also face counts of endangering the life and health of a child. They were charged Monday in Jersey County. They're being held on $500,000 bond. Attorneys for the couple didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.