A rural Delaware County woman accused of starving her children and making them eat dog feces remains in jail on $100,000 bail.
Mary Elizabeth Moore, 34, of Bernice is charged in Delaware County District Court with two counts of child neglect.
Moore was taken into custody late last week. She is also known as Mary Willingham, Mary Viney and Mary Leabo.
The two children, a girl and a boy ages 5 and 3, are now in state custody after Moore refused to take them to a hospital and was resistant to the medical staff’s advice, according to the probable cause affidavit issued by Delaware County Sherrif’s Detective Mike Bouziden.
The two children were hospitalized at St. Francis Hospital intensive care unit where the older child weighed 26 pounds and the younger sibling weighed 18 pounds, the affidavit states.
The younger sibling had been diagnosed as “failure to thrive as early as four-months-old,” the affidavit states.
The children were so malnourished “that hospital staff had to place them on a special diet and applied nasal feeding tubes,” the affidavit states. They were later diagnosed with “severely malnourished and developed re-feeding syndrome before beginning to gain weight.”
Both of the children’s failure to thrive “is due to protein-calorie malnutrition, not being provided enough calories,” the affidavit states.
When Department of Human Services workers asked the older child about her diet she stated she ate dog feces, which the arresting officer noted on the affidavit was the reason for the pin worms in the child.
“DHS records indicate a long withstanding history of failure to thrive cases brought up against Mary (Moore),” the affidavit states.
The child told investigators that Moore’s boyfriend “sometime throws bottles” at the younger child and described in graphic detail eating dog feces.
The child also described inappropriate behavior between Moore and her boyfriend that she witnessed.
Moore told investigators her children were admitted to the hospital for “losing half a pound,” and she had been dealing with DHS since her older child was a year old, the affidavit states.
Moore denied starving her children and feeding them dog feces and later became upset with the interview and left, the affidavit states.