Phoenix Couple Let Malnourished Baby Die, as "Religious Beliefs" Kept Them From Doctors

religious-symbols.jpg
Patathomas via Flickr


Whatever religion calls for letting malnourished babies die instead of bringing them to a doctor, that's the religion that Phoenix parents Ernest Ingram and Denise Snow-Ingram apparently follow.

Police say the couple cited "religious beliefs" as their 15-month-old baby died on Wednesday, weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces -- about a pound more than the average birth weight in the United States.

Officers responded to the couple's home near 7th Avenue and Camelback Road shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, as firefighters were treating 15-month-old baby Miriam Ingram, who wasn't breathing.

The baby was transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital, and pronounced dead before 11 a.m.

The doctor who treated the baby said she was suffering from "profound malnutrition," according to court documents obtained by New Times.

There were no signs the baby girl was being treated for this malnutrition. An X-ray revealed numerous fractured ribs and other bones in Miriam's extremities, too.

The Ingrams told police they were the only ones who have "cared" for Miriam since she was born.

They claimed they took the girl to a doctor once, within a week of being released from the hospital after her birth, but "had not been seen by a doctor since due to religious beliefs of her parents," according to a probable-cause statement. Which religion they're referring to wasn't specified.

Both parents opined to investigators that the girl's development was "a little slow," court documents state.

Turns out, Child Protective Services has met the Ingrams before.

On March 16, 2012, someone, presumably a medical professional, reported neglect to the agency:
The report alleged that the mother arrived at the hospital because she was having seizures. The mother was 37 weeks pregnant with Miriam and subsequently delivered her early. The mother stated she has six other children who were born at home delivered by the father. The mother stated she has never obtained birth certificates for the children and has never taken them to the doctor. She did not receive pre-natal care. The mother did not appear to understand or comprehend what she was being told. There was concern that the baby would not get the follow-up care needed. Follow-up care was required to ensure that the baby was gaining weight. An investigation was completed and the children were determined to be safe. The parents declined services. The allegations were unsubstantiated.
Now, CPS has placed the other six children in foster care. Phoenix police Sergeant Trent Crump says the six other children were between the ages of 3 and 12.

For now, the Ingrams were booked into jail on felony child-abuse charges. Bond was set at $250,000 each.

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MCSO
Ernest Ingram (left) and Denise Snow-Ingram

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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18 comments
mrs.lukebryan
mrs.lukebryan

if it was religion why didnt his fat ass starve himself

marcy
marcy

Church of the Holy Crackheads

Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy now

PaulMoore
PaulMoore

What did they spend all of their foodstamps on? 

Brett Solesky
Brett Solesky

Obviously this is an example of religious extremism. But somewhere along the line these people had the seed planted of regular religion. That seed in turn sprouted into this, this level of insanity that killed a child. The lesson here is don't plant the seed in the first place.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Now they'll be practicing their religion behind bars for a very long time. Both of them should be sterilized.

pecee69
pecee69

so is this an organised religion, or something they made up?

cugagcmu80
cugagcmu80

A couple here in Middle GA did the same thing with their young son. The kid was two years old and weighed less than 20 lbs.  Both of them are now residents of the state prison system.

Jukes
Jukes

This is the first time I might actually approve of the use of Arpaio's outdoor cages. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@pecee69  

Everybody makes up their own religion by interpreting whatever formal teachings they may experience.   At the core, it's all made up.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Jukes  

Causing a death because you're profoundly stupid isn't really comparable to some of the willfully evil things that some of those other prisoners have done.

Punishment isn't really a treatment for stupidity.

 

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative It's a reach to assume these folks didn't feed their baby because they were too stupid to understand the consequences.

No one needs a doctor to tell them to feed their children. What they did (or didn't do) for their child is nothing short of criminal and egredgious.  Its one thing to kill your own child. It's quite another to kill your child by starving them to death.  They deserve the same attendance to their needs as their baby girl received from them.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks

There are many different forms of "feeding disorder" that prevent babies from eating despite being offered food.

They're common enough to make this almost certainly what happened here, but it wouldn't have been mentioned because no doctor had seen the child in over a year  (and I doubt any type of autopsy had been performed yet).

The child was seen for seizures shortly after birth.  Seizures are acute and very frightening, and not at all like the sort of chronic illness that seems to have killed the child.  This is also evidence that there may have been a congenital disorder.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative @yourproductsucks ...and if they are the religious zealots you want to make them out to be, why did their aversion towards modern medicine not keep them from the hospital during delivery? 

Most Atheists make conclusions based on emperical evidence....The empirical evidence presented actually contradicts your hypothesis.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative @yourproductsucks What evidence do you have to support this hypothesis?  I can't find any statement that the childhad a pre-existing medical condition that went untreated which led to her death.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  The stupidity in question isn't that they didn't know that the child needed to eat, but rather that they decided to trust an imaginary god to solve whatever problem they thought the child had.

In most cases of severe malnutrition in babies, there's some medical problem, rather than that the parents just ignore the child.


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