After a 16-year-old boy was found in his Chambersburg home last October “extremely malnourished” and weighing just 26 pounds, police say his condition is improving.
The victim, son of Elisabet Estrada, is now in foster care along with his teen sister, according to Chambersburg Police Sgt. Jon Greenawalt.
“When he was presented at the hospital, he was completely emaciated,” Greenawalt said. “He should have weighed far more than that. In fact, his body weight has currently doubled.”
More on the case: Mom ‘failed to feed’ 26-pound 16-year-old boy, Chambersburg police say
Police in Chambersburg responded to a home to assist Children and Youth Services in the early hours of Oct. 24, according to documents just released by the municipal court.
The 16-year-old boy was admitted to Hershey Medical Center, weighing just 26 pounds at 44 inches tall. This height and weight for a 16-year-old is considered a 9.4 Body Mass Index, placing him at less than the 1st percentile of boys his age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
The teen was “very frail, gaunt, ribs extremely evident and ravenously hungry,” court documents read.
Children and Youth responded to the address to check the welfare of siblings and set up a “safety plan,” if necessary. Two of his siblings were adults – ages 18 and 21.
The other siblings “appeared to be in good general health,” according to court records.
His teen sister – also 16 years old at the time of their mother’s arrest – was also placed in foster care, according to Greenawalt.
Throughout the course of this investigation, police contacted a doctor with Penn State Hershey Medical Center. It was her medical opinion that the teen’s condition was due to malnutrition and medical neglect since the mother “failed to seek appropriate medical care from an early age until he was 16 years of age and failed to appropriately feed him,” according to court documents.
The doctor informed police that the victim grew in both height and weight while under medical care, “simply because he was receiving appropriate nutrition.”
“He’s doing really well,” Greenawalt said.
Estrada was put in Franklin County Jail on Jan. 17 on $25,000 bail.
She is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Glenn Manns for a preliminary hearing Jan. 28.
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