MILWAUKEE (WISN) — A Milwaukee mother has been charged after police say her 16-year-old son died from being extremely emaciated.
Investigators arrested Iraida Pizarro-Osorio, 32, and charged her with one count of chronic child neglect resulting in great bodily harm.
According to a criminal complaint, Pizarro-Osorio took her unresponsive son last Wednesday to the Sixteenth Street Health Center.
He had a faint pulse and died after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.
Police responded and said the boy was extremely malnourished.
The victim’s bones could be seen beneath his skin and he lacked muscle or fatty tissue, investigators said.
He weighed 42 pounds, placing him in the zero percentile on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s growth chart for boys ages 2-20.
Pizarro-Osorio told police she and her son had just returned from two weeks in Puerto Rico, where he got sick.
She said she took him to a doctor in Puerto Rico, but said they were turned away because she did not have insurance.
Pizarro-Osorio’s ex-boyfriend told police Pizarro-Osorio and her son never went to Puerto Rico, as he saw them almost every day for the previous two weeks.
She later told police the story about going to Puerto Rico was a lie, investigators said.
Pizarro-Osorio told investigators her son suffered from a genetic disorder, has seizures, epilepsy and autism.
She said the boy’s conditions kept him from gaining weight.
Pizarro-Osorio told police she and her son had seen a neurologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin after they moved to Milwaukee in 2009.
Her daughter told police her mother put a lock on her brother’s bedroom door to prevent him from leaving his room at night.
Pizarro-Osorio admitted to feeding her son and then locking him in his room for the night, police said.
She said she would unlock the door and open it after her son fell asleep to hear if he had a seizure.
Pizarro-Osorio told investigators the Bureau of Child Welfare became involved with her son in 2017 because of concerns of malnutrition.
She said the department conducted home visits twice a week for six months to make sure the boy was gaining weight.
The visits apparently stopped after the boy reached about 70 pounds.
According to a criminal complaint, when asked why she did not take her son to the emergency room when he began losing weight, Pizarro-Osorio told investigators she was afraid child protective services would take him from her.
The boy’s official cause of death is still pending.
Pizarro-Osorio appeared in court Sunday.
She was ordered held in the Milwaukee County Jail on $35,000 cash bail.
If convicted, Pizarro-Osorio faces up to 25 years in prison.
The Department of Children and Families would not comment on the case because of confidentiality issues.