Erie couple charged with starving infant son
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Associated Press
ERIE, Pa. – A northwestern Pennsylvania couple allowed their 7-month-old son to starve despite receiving government assistance to help care for him and his twin brother, who was also malnourished but survived, authorities said.
Nathan Rosier Jr. died Oct. 13. Prosecutors filed involuntary manslaughter and other charges against his parents yesterday after investigators confirmed the boy died from forced starvation and not a digestive problem or other medical condition.
The county coroner ruled the boy’s death a homicide yesterday, saying he died of “severe nutritional wasting due to neglect.”
“The baby was not properly fed,” Erie County District Attorney Bradley Foulk told the Erie Times-News. "Nutritional wasting is when someone starves to death."
The baby weighed less than 6 pounds when he died. Police said they were called after paramedics discovered him in his crib with blood and bodily fluids around his mouth and nose.
The baby’s parents, Nathan Rosier Sr., 20, and Crystal Peace, 19, both of Waterford Township, were arrested yesterday and remained in the county jail today unable to post bond.
Peace’s father, Larry Peace, 56, was also in jail today, charged with two counts of child endangerment. He lived with the couple and the children.
“We are alleging he knew or should have known the children were in danger,” Mr. Foulk said.
It was not immediately clear if the three defendants had attorneys.
Nathan’s twin brother, Tyler, was also malnourished but survived, police said. He and an 18-month-old brother, Alex, were placed in foster care.
Police said records showed the boy’s mother had received federal assistance and $1,203 a month in supplemental Social Security for her twin sons in the months leading up to Nathan’s death.