Couple charged with abusing 8-year-old boyby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Prosecutors say a southern Minnesota couple starved their 8-year-old adopted son to the point that he was severely malnourished and weighed less than 35 pounds.
Nicollet County prosecutors charged Mona and Russell Hauer of North Mankato with six felonies, including child endangerment and malicious punishment of a child.
Prosecutors say Mona Hauer took the boy to a hospital after she saw what she thought was blood on his shirt.
According to a criminal complaint, doctors found the boy's bones protruding, his brain atrophied and his heart beating slower than normal. The boy also stands at 3 feet 5 inches tall.
Investigators say the Hauers fed the child a liquid-only diet on the advice of a chiropractor. And the couple allegedly withheld food from the child as punishment and also beat him with a wooden board.
Investigators say the Hauers' three other children were allowed to eat regular food. They say all are home-schooled and had little contact with doctors.
The boy is being treated for malnutrition and an eating disorder.
It is not clear if the Hauers have retained an attorney. They could not be reached by telephone.