Prosecutors have now charged both parents of the malnourished toddler with two counts of child abuse and neglect. Late Thursday evening Olathe, KS, police confirmed the same parents were once the subject of an investigation after their newborn daughter died.
The 2-year-old identified in court documents as SH was first taken to the hospital Tuesday by her parents, Arthur Easterwood and Telecia Hooks. She weighed 17.41 pounds, according to court documents, and was described by medical staff as "failing to thrive" and "malnourished." The parents were immediately taken into custody and on Wednesday they were charged with child abuse and neglect.
"I was shocked. I was real shocked. I couldn't believe it," said a man who lives next door to the couple and asked to not have his identity revealed.
He describes Easterwood as friendly and hard-working. He said Easterwood worked overnight shifts, leaving the 2-year-old in Hooks' care and said that's when the child would frequently cry.
"He wasn't there. His girlfriend, the baby's mama, she'd be there, but when he comes in, you don't hear the baby crying," the neighbor said.
Medical staffers also noticed four open wounds on the little girl's head and multiple fractures to her ribs and a fracture on her arm.
This isn't the first time the couple's parenting was called into question.
Olathe police confirmed that Easterwood and Hooks were investigated in 2009 for the death of their 6-week-old daughter, Sylena. The couple told police they put the child to sleep between them and the next morning she was unresponsive.
A 2010 autopsy cleared the couple and Thursday Olathe police said they will not reopen the case.
As for the 2-year-old, the report also said there were multiple marks on her body that were partially healed. That little girl and her brother were both taken into protective custody, where they remain.
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