Michigan police investigate death of malnourished five-year-old

Reuters News
Posted: May 27, 2015 9:33 PM

(Reuters) - The father and stepmother of a 5-year-old girl who died after being found malnourished and injured at her home in Michigan are being held on child abuse charges, police said on Wednesday.

The girl's stepmother had called authorities on Tuesday night, drawing emergency responders to the house in Port Huron, police said. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.

The girl's father, 27, and stepmother, 25, face child abuse second-degree charges, police said.

"There is evidence of foul play present at the scene, so we are treating this as a homicide investigation," Port Huron Public Safety Director Michael Reaves told a news conference posted on the Port Huron Times Herald website.

"Until we know better or different, we feel this is the best way to proceed," Reaves said.

The charges could be updated as the investigation proceeds, and the case will be turned over to the St. Clair County prosecutor's office, Reaves said.

Three other children were removed from the house, two girls and a boy all under 11 years old, police said.

A 3-year-old girl was taken to a Detroit hospital suffering from severe signs of malnutrition and dehydration, Reaves said. The other two children were placed in foster care, he said.

Port Huron is about 60 miles northeast of Detroit.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Peter Cooney)