‘Skin and bones’: Parents charged with severe neglect of teen

Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Mary and Anthony Foxworth plead not guilty today in child mistreatment case in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia parents of a 16-year-old boy discovered so malnourished he weighed less than 60 pounds pleaded not guilty today to first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Mary G. Foxworth, 42, and Anthony S. Foxworth, 44, went before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

They were accompanied by court appointed lawyers.

Judge Richard Brosey asked them each if they had any questions and then asked how did they plead.

“Not guilty,” each responded separately.

Charges against the couple were filed Dec. 12 and they were summonsed to appear in court last Friday. Both were allowed to remain free on $10,000 unsecured bonds pending trial and ordered to return today for their arraignment.

The available details about the case are five pages of the affidavit regarding probable cause.

The Centralia Police Department began investigating after the Foxworths took their son to the doctor almost a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2016.

The investigation found the boy had not been enrolled in school since 2011 and had not seen a doctor since 2007.

He has a younger brother and sister who are enrolled in school, appeared healthy and presented little concern, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote in charging documents. Investigators found numerous medical contacts for his siblings over the years, she wrote.

The charging documents offer some of the following information and allegations:

Mary Foxworth contacted Northwest Pediatrics on Jan. 19, 2016 near closing time, saying her son had not been eating or drinking for about three weeks and had abdominal pain.

Medical providers said the boy was whiter than a sheet of paper, looked acutely ill and didn’t talk but only grunted. The doctor estimated his age at  11 or 12. The medical assistant described him as skin and bones, said she had never seen anyone in his condition before or since and she was nauseous from looking at him.

The teen was sent to Providence Centralia Hospital for a diagnosis and they transferred him to Mary Bridge Childrens’ Hospital in Tacoma.

He weighed 54 pounds, was missing patches of hair, could not stand on his own and could not open his mouth wide enough to allow a doctor to check his throat.

He was wearing pull-ups and his skeletal age was determined to be that of a 13-year-old child.

The doctor there wrote in a report “at best, this is neglect, but maybe also physical abuse.”

The boy suffered from severe malnutrition, severe constipation and anemia. He was seen by a dentist and needed 24 of his teeth to be treated, including one that had to be pulled and two that would require root canals.

The charging documents don’t indicate when the boy was put in foster care, but note that as of a date unspecified, he had grown more than three inches and gained 39 pounds. His specific height is not mentioned.

Police detectives interviewed the parents.

Anthony Foxworth said the family regularly ate healthy meals together, regularly bathed and that all his children saw a dentist at least once a year.

He attributed the long hospitalization to the boy’s grandfather – who resided with them – being mean to him.

Separately, Mary Foxworth told detectives the children did not regularly see a dentist or routinely eat three good meals a day.

She indicated she thought he was starving himself because he was depressed. Mary Foxworth admitted she didn’t know when he began to lose weight because she was too wrapped up in her own depression.

The mother admitted to making poor choices, being so sorry for failing him and wrote a letter to her son indicating the same, writing she hoped he would be able to forgive her.

Bohm wrote in charging documents that multiple medical professionals indicated the teen’s condition was the direct result of the neglect, if not abuse, suffered at the hands of the defendants, over a matter of years.

The boy’s foster parents have reported they began a “book of firsts” to track things the teen had not done before, such as learning to push a broom, make a sandwich and go to a movie theater.

The Foxworths when contacted earlier this week declined to comment about the allegations.

Charging documents don’t note if the boy had any pre-existing condition or disease. Mary Foxworth’s lawyer, Jacob Clark, this afternoon outside the courtroom, said that wasn’t something he was able to comment upon.

Their trial is scheduled for the week of March 20. first-degree criminal mistreatment has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

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21 Responses to “‘Skin and bones’: Parents charged with severe neglect of teen”

  1. Right Wing Liberal says:

    What about Justice For Jay! Jay’s life matters…well, mattered. How come that animal attorney isn’t down here jumping up and down on the judge’s bench over this! Oh, it’s just a kid, I forgot. My bad… carry on with the hate

  2. BleeBloo says:

    I’m sure when he was little they thought they could take care of him, but everyone would have been better off if they surrendered him to foster care. Not many people have the money, time, or resources to care for a special needs kid.

  3. wtf.... says:


  4. SugarNSpice says:

    My children have never gone without, but as a someone who had previously been in a DV/mentally manipulative relationship before… my heart (1) aches for the boy and his siblings (2) wonders if there wasn’t some DV stuff going on between mom and dad?? Often times DV does not take the standard form of wife showing a bruise etc – often times she is oppressed by a narcissistic spouse (or even vice versa I have seen men oppressed by narcissistic wives) and those with NPD can be VERY GOOD at convincing the court of public opinion that they are either victims or perfectly normal humam beings; when they are really monsters.

  5. WOW says:

    Jesus.Why are these people just now being charged? Hang them and all like them.. why didn’t the younger children mention the starving older brother?

  6. Wow says:

    WTF I know them. They were all really nice and seemed normal. I met all the kids, but the victim. She owes me money and I let it go because her excuse for not paying me was because her DISABLED special needs son was at Mary Bridge having health issues and it was life threatening she said. That is really messed up. Very upsetting to read this article. She took all of my sons baby photos. That upsets me too.

  7. SafetyGirl70 says:

    Anonymous states that there were medical conditions that the 5 paragraphs did not state and the public was not aware of…if that is true, why the heck was the child not seen at the doctor from 2007 until 2011? How did he get 24 cavities? How the HELL did he only weigh 59 pounds?!? A real CARING mother and father NOT ICE and do something about the things. To say otherwise is a cop-out! It is atrocious that they only had $10,000 bail for this! There is something wrong with our justice system!

  8. anonymous says:

    All of you are ready to grab your fire and pitchforks and start lynching them up.
    There’s more to all this than what’s written in a 5 paragraph news story. The family isn’t as they are portrayed here. there’s is always more to it… so, before you condemn someone know the whole story not just one that’s meant to rile you up or that centers on just one known year. Maybe, just maybe there had been all sorts of health concerns from this child’s day of birth. Note the other two children, perfectly healthy! This article does not go into any more details.

  9. Sick to my stomach says:

    When I was a small girl my Mom was always depressed and mentally ill, but through it all we NEVER went without and were well taken care of. I don’t remember ever going without a meal or being hungry. These parents were just neglectful and need to suffer just like this boy so they can see what it is like then maybe they will get it back!
    I feel bad for this boy and hope he thrives in life now! God Bless him!

  10. Jen says:

    There is a book called ‘A child called It’ and this is pretty dang close! Glad he is gaining some weight and hope he gets all the help he needs.

  11. Sum Ting Wong says:

    Can’t feed em, don’t breed em! Hope these clowns enjoy a long stint in the pokey!

  12. Deathpenalty says:

    Wyd is wrong with parents now days??? Why arent these pieces of shit in jail NOW??? I hope they rot in Hell!!! Seems to me you get in more trouble for abusing animals these days than you do abusing your own flesh and blod!!! Eye for an eye

  13. Outofcentralia says:

    This is sickening. What is WRONG WITH THESE DOSGUSTING WHITE TRASH LOWLIFES?!?? I hope they rot in hell, they should t even be offered a fair trial! Clearly, this is they’re fault!! I hope this lady is depressed if I was as pathetic as her and her sorry excuse for a husband I wouldn’t be able to even look at myself! These pieces of garbage don’t deserve to see another light of day.

  14. Tildi says:

    Poor little boy they should never have kids in there custody no excuse poor boy I can’t even imagine what he was probably thinking or if he could even think im so sad im glad he is at marybridge

  15. Tildi says:

    They should never be able to.have kids in there custody there’s no excuse look at him fat pig I can’t even imagine what the lil boy way thinking or if could even think so sad

  16. Tildi says:

    No excuse agreed previous comments

  17. Tori Price says:

    Even if the mother was depressed she had two other children that were perfectly healthy. How could one of her children be so neglected and not the others and her “not notice”? That’s just plain bad parenting. They don’t deserve to be parents. A child doesn’t do that to themselves because they are depressed like that. No matter how yourself as a parent is feeling your children always ALWAYS come first. No matter what. These two people deserve to never get any of their children back EVER AGAIN. Those children deserve to be with people that will take care of all of them. That poor child. It breaks my heart when I read stories like this. I hope they get life in prison. If you can’t take care of your child, your only job you have as a parent you don’t deserve to be free and live a life.

  18. rose says:

    Wow, and the parents look well fed. Should be charged with attempted murder, or FELONY child abuse.

  19. Been there. says:

    Someone needs to get this kid a lawyer ASAP!

  20. still waiting for justice says:

    hope they half rot in jail and finishing rotting in hell

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