HOUSTON--- A Houston couple is accused of allowing their son to nearly starve to death.
The alleged abuse occurred at Elijah and Susan Johnson’s northeast Houston apartment in May of 2012, when the couple’s son Nathaniel was 11-years-old. At the time he was found, he weighed 30 pounds.
According to court documents, the boy suffers from a very rare medical condition and requires a feeding tube to eat. Child Protective Services became involved after the boy was taken to a hospital suffering from respiratory failure.
The documents also show that a small amount of cocaine was found in the boy’s system.
“There were some concerns about the child’s weight and the family’s understanding of his medical condition, including how to feed him,” said Gwen Carter, of Child Protective Services.
She said CPS took custody of the child while experts instructed the parents on how better to care for him. Three months ago, CPS allowed Nathaniel to return home with a 24-hour nurse in place, even though the criminal investigation was still underway.
“Our investigations and cases are civil,” said Carter. “They’re not criminal. And so they don’t always run parallel. We, of course, share all information with law enforcement and they share with us.”
That information led to a charge of injury to a child by omission against Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.
The child has temporarily been placed in the care of relatives while CPS tries to work out a long-term living arrangement.