Authorities have identified skeletal remains found in a rural creek near Dallas as those of a 10-year-old boy allegedly starved to death by his father and stepmother, police and a family member said Monday.
Dallas police said they confirmed with the Dallas County medical examiner that DNA tests have linked the remains to Johnathan Ramsey. The boy's remains were found April 21 in rural Ellis County, south of the city.
The medical examiner declined to comment on the case because the remains were found in another county. However, Starla Swanson, stepmother to Johnathan's mother, confirmed that the family had been informed that a positive identification of Johnathan had been made.
The boy's father and stepmother, Aaron and Elizabeth Ramsey, remain jailed on charges of felony injury to a child. Both are being held on $500,000 bail. Attorneys for each did not return phone messages seeking comment.
Aaron Ramsey allegedly told police he limited the boy's meals to bread, water and sometimes milk for several months. According to police records, the boy was confined to his bedroom in the family's Dallas home, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The boy's mother, Judy Williams, and other relatives did not see him for months. Williams lives in New Mexico and has custody of the couple's other son, Swanson said.
Johnathan's grandfather Edward Ramsey had contacted police earlier this year to ask them to search for the child because he had not seen the boy for more than a year.
Aaron and Elizabeth Ramsey initially claimed the boy had gone to live with his mother, but later confessed to starving the boy to death, police said.
According to police, Aaron Ramsey said he put his son on "military rations" because the boy began to misbehave early last year. Ramsey said the boy had punched his stepmother in the stomach when she was pregnant, causing a miscarriage. Ramsey said he hit Johnathan in the chest and then locked him in a bedroom, according to the records.
A spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney did not immediately comment on whether prosecutors would seek additional charges now that the remains had been identified.
The child's remains were to be cremated and his ashes sent to his mother, Swanson said.