Malnourished teen weighed only 88 pounds, parents arrested

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The 17-year-old victim who is blind and has autism was so severely malnourished he nearly died. (KTRK)

A disabled teen weighed only 88 pounds and was so severely malnourished he nearly died. His parents, David and Vanessa Hall, were arrested on child abuse charges.

The 17-year-old victim is blind and has autism. Court documents show his parents said he survived by consuming seven to eight sodas per day and a variety of snack foods like Doritos and Cheese-Its.

While it's still too early in the investigation for authorities to declare a motive in this case, statements from the affidavit point out the parents collected a social security check for their son.

"David appeared more concerned with how his son's hospitalization would affect his Social Security payments and how they would need to change him to the payee when his son turned eighteen," the affidavit states.

The victim's parents took the teen to the hospital after they said he lost consciousness in the shower. They told police they thought it may have been due to the flu.

Doctors, who reported the child hasn't seen a physician in at least eight years, informed them the teen suffered from hypovolemic shock, severe malnutrition and a stage three sacral pressure sore. The severe level of malnourishment also led doctors to diagnose the teen with acute renal failure.

A doctor familiar with the victim's condition said the teen's health is akin to "someone who would have been in a concentration camp for several years."

The teen was hospitalized, and it could take up to four weeks of closely-monitored care to ensure his life is no longer threatened. Doctors believe the child likely hadn't been fed properly over the course of several years.

The teen's parents, who left him in the hospital's care to tend to their pets, were later interviewed before their arrest.

Court documents state the teen's parents could not provide a reasonable answer when asked why they didn't reach out for assistance.

There are no signs of alleged abuse on the couple's Facebook pages. Vanessa shared many autism related posts including one that reads, 'I love someone with autism.' David wrote on Facebook, "All my love goes to my boy."

Police issued an arrest warrant for both David and Vanessa Hall. Vanessa posted bond Wednesday and said she didn't have anything to say when she left jail. David remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.

KMGH reports that the criminal case is ongoing, Vanessa is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 20.

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newschild abuseu.s. & worldautism

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