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Boy has to have parts of feet amputated; parents charged

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Jan. 12, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A boy in Vernal has lost parts of his feet, authorities say, because he didn't get proper medical care. Now his mother and stepfather are facing the consequences.

Authorities say anyone who saw the boy's feet should have known he needed to go to a hospital. One investigator, who saw pictures of the injuries, told KSL they look like severe burns or frostbite.

The Division of Child and Family Services called Uintah County authorities on Dec. 31 on a report that a boy had feet problems. When they went to the home in Vernal, they realized just how bad it was.

The probable cause statement says, "They appeared to be the feet of a severe burn victim with open blisters and bleeding sores on them. The skin was sluffing [sic] and curling into the air. The toes were in different stages of decomposition but primarily black and shriveled."

According to the probable cause statement, the boy's mother told investigators she took the boy to a local pediatrics center. She said a doctor warmed the foot and sent them home with Benadryl to help with the itching.

Investigators learned the boy had never been taken to the clinic. They say the boy may have had the injuries for about a week.

"What began the incident was children playing and also putting bracelets or some sort of plastic around the victim's ankles, and once they were removed, it was not properly treated," said Uintah County Sheriff's Cpl. Brian Fletcher.

The boy was taken to a local hospital and then moved to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Deputies arrested the boy's mother, Michelle Napolitano, and her husband, Francis Napolitano. Prosecutors have charged them with inflicting serious injury on a child, a second-degree felony. They will make their first court appearance Jan. 25.

The 7-year old is still in the hospital. The sheriff's office says the couple's five other children are now in state custody.

E-mail: syi@ksl.com

Sandra Yi

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