Mother facing multiple charges after 16-year-old weighs in at 26 pounds


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Elizabet Estrada of Chambersburg is facing multiple charges after her 16-year-old son went to the doctor and weighed 26 pounds.

Court documents show the teen weighed 22 pounds when he was three years old, and just 26 pounds at age 16. Investigators say in all the years in between, the child had no doctor appointments or medical care.

“The family lives internally amongst each other,” said Det. Sgt. Jon Greenawalt of the Chambersburg Police Department. “The mother and four children … by the mother’s statements, they don’t have a lot of contact outside the home. They were schooled at home through the mother.”

So investigators say when Estrada brought her son to the doctor, Penn State Health reported it to Franklin County Children and Youth Services, which got the police involved.

“He was emaciated,” Greenawalt said. “He was obviously malnourished and underweight.”

Estrada is now facing two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count of aggravated assault.

Meanwhile, doctors told investigators the teen was three and a half feet tall because he was malnourished. They diagnosed him with psychosocial dwarfism: a disorder caused by extreme deprivation or stress.

They found out about other conditions that went undiagnosed for years.

“The child presents he was developmentally delayed,” said Greenawalt. “He was limited verbally.”

Court documents show the boy couldn’t hold down food, so he stayed in the hospital from October until December. He’s currently in foster care.

Police say the other siblings were healthy.

“One of the other children is in foster care and two for the other children are actually legal age adult,” said Greenawalt.

The affidavit says Estrada insisted she did everything for her son and wanted to treat him at home.

“If you have concerns of abuse or neglect, contact your local police department,” said Greenawalt.

Estrada was unable to post bail and is currently at Franklin County Prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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