Dec 19, 2007

Starved twins

The first time the detective saw the allegedly starved twins, the 13-month-old boys were attached to feeding tubes at a children's hospital, but still looked emaciated.

"The two children looked like little skeletons," said Joanne Southerland, a child abuse and sexual exploitation detective with the Clayton County Police Department.

"Just little skeletons, that's the best way I can describe it," she said. "The doctors told me it was the worst case of child neglect any of the experts had ever seen. [Children's Health Care of Atlanta at] Egleston has never seen a case as severe as this."

The twins' parents, 23-year-olds who lived in a trailer at 31 La Costa Drive in Lovejoy, are charged with child neglect and forging prescriptions for opiate-based drugs. Tessa Noel Zelek and James Alvin McCart III walked into their probable cause hearing in the Clayton County Magistrate Court together, Tuesday evening. Zelek wore a green jump suit, McCart orange, and the couple walked in and slouched into the big black chairs next to their respective attorneys.

Southerland testified that the parents accused each other of failing to feed the baby boys.

"As best you can determine," Joe Roberto, Zelek's attorney, asked, "who was the last person to feed the children?"

"We have no idea," Southerland said.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
'The two children looked like little skeletons'