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West Palm Beach couple arrested after quadriplegic child's thumb chewed down to bone, police say

Marcus Brown, Annette Slater facing child abuse, neglect charges
Marcus Brown and Annette Slater
Posted at 10:32 AM, May 06, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach couple is facing child abuse and neglect charges after a mute, blind and quadriplegic 11-year-old was so emaciated that the child weighed just 45 pounds, police said Wednesday.

Marcus Brown and Annette Slater were arrested on outstanding warrants by West Palm Beach police.

Police said Brown and Slater left the child, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, unsupervised at a hospital in August.

Hospital staff told police the child appeared to be only "skin and bones" and had an infected thumb that had been chewed down to the bone.

The thumb was so infected that it had to be partially amputated.

Witnesses told police that the child appeared hungry all the time, leading the child to frequently bite the thumb.

Police said the Department of Children and Families had several previous investigations involving the child.

The child's case worker said multiple attempts were made to try to help with the child's doctors visits.

Police said Brown and Slater showed an "utter unwillingness to cooperate."