Ogden Couple Arrested For Allegedly Starving Child

Ogden Couple Arrested For Allegedly Starving Child


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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Police have arrested an Ogden couple whose 3-year-old son allegedly was kept in a small utility closet for weeks at a time without food or water.

The child also allegedly was repeatedly beaten with a belt and extension cord.

Melvin John Jackson, 47, and Johnetta Jackson, 39, were booked into Weber County Jail on Thursday for investigation of child abuse.

Detective Colt Johansen said they were arrested during their first visitation with their six children, who have been in the custody of the state Department of Child and Family Services since Oct. 8.

Police first learned of the alleged abuse after an older daughter of the couple contacted DCFS earlier this month, Johansen said.

All of the couple's children were taken into state custody a day after the report and the 3-year-old boy was taken to Primary Children's Hospital.

"He's been so malnourished that he has internal damage," Johansen said. "The doctors would tell you that the child in this condition was near death."

The child had several wounds across his body consistent with beatings that occurred over seven or eight months, he said.

The boy, who is now out of the hospital, and a newborn baby both tested positive for methamphetamine, and the other children are being tested for drugs, Johansen said.

The couple are to be arraigned in 2nd District Court on Monday.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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