Two people are facing felony child neglect charges after police say they allowed their newborn daughter to become malnourished.
Hope Edger, 20, and Daniel Roberts, 24, were both charged with a class C felony count of child neglect. A bond hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 7.
The couple’s child was born in early July in Minot, and about a week later she had lost almost a full pound, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. The couple said the child was not eating.
“That Edger and Robert told medical staff that they believe Doe was not feeding ‘on purpose,’ and that she would not make eye contact with them ‘on purpose,’ investigators wrote in the probable cause affidavit.
The couple were given formula and a breast pump, but they failed to come to a scheduled checkup for the infant, court records indicate. The next day, after checking their home and finding it empty, the couple were located in a Williston motel.
The infant had lost more weight and was lethargic, so was taken to the hospital, charging documents state. Over four days in the hospital, she gained nearly a pound, and gained more over the subsequent several weeks.
Two doctors examined the case and found no medical reason that would cause the child to not eat, police said.
“That Doe’s weight loss while with Edger and Roberts coupled with her rapid weight gain once at the hospital and in foster care and the information regarding feeding schedules and reported difficulties indicates that Doe was not receiving proper nutrition from her parents despite their admitted awareness of the problems,” investigators wrote in charging documents.
The pair are scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Oct. 6.