SUTTON, W.Va. – A Braxton County mother was jailed and charged with child neglect resulting in death following the loss of her 8-year-old son.

Photo by Jennifer Smith

Sgt. Michael Baylous talked about the case on Friday in South Charleston.

State police were called when hospice caregivers were turned away by Valarie Brown, 38, at the front door of her Sutton home on several occasions.

Her son Levi Burroughs was under the care of hospice because he suffered from Hurler’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes organ damage and eventual death.

Most children afflicted with Hurler’s Syndrome do not live past the age of 10.

“Obviously, [hospice] felt there was a need to get in there and provide treatment for this child and they were being denied that access,” explained First Sgt. Michael Baylous with the West Virginia State Police.

When the trooper arrived with a hospice worker on Thursday, Mrs. Brown once again resisted letting anyone into the home, but eventually allowed them inside. They found Levi deceased in a bed, wrapped in a blanket, his body partially decomposed.

Baylous said the child had been dead for “a considerable amount of time.”

“The child was denied care, denied care!  Mrs. Brown did not allow Hospice to come in and provide the proper care and treatment that that child needed.”

Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy. What they find will be key to determining if Brown is charged with a more serious crime.

Baylous said the treatment of the boy was unconscionable.

“Here’s a child, in his last hours, was in conditions…He wasn’t in a loving and compassionate environment,” stated Baylous. “This child died alone!”

Police said they are familiar with Brown and “her pattern of behavior.” She’s been arrested on more than one occasion for drug related crimes.  Now investigators want to find out what she was doing in the last few days of her son’s life.

“We want to know where Ms. Brown was during that entire time and what she was out doing,” according to Baylous.  “Our investigators will work tirelessly on this.”

Brown also has a 6-year old son. He was last seen at the home this past weekend, but was staying with a grandparent at the time Brown was taken into custody.

She’s being held at the Central Regional Jail on $100,000 bail.

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Comments

  • Debra

    Look, there is an investigation. How do we know he died alone? Maybe mom was with him when he died. She is not bound by law to continue with Hospice. But she was required to contact authorities after the death. If she sent the other child to the grandparents house, maybe she knew the time was comming.

  • scarberry

    this women was sick them people need to b shot y would anybody do that

  • Mason

    It's a tragedy..period..but the county is filled with them..and we can do something..or sit back and complain like we've been doing for years..

  • Josh

    you, sir or ma'am are an IDIOT!!! I'm glad I wasn't your child or I am sure I would be dead by now. This may be one of the most ignorant statements I have ever seen!

  • judge not

    The kid was going to die regardless. Hospice was in the home, and had bee for years. The disease is terminal.
    She did not have to allow Hospice in; they are voluntary, and the kid, having dealt with the disease since birth, had everything he needed in home to be comfortable.
    What must she have been going through keep his body?

    • Jonus Grumby

      The youngster died in the most undignified way...alone. I hope your final moments are better than his.

    • wvtd

      you are nuts.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    about time hospice called the police.. oops too late

  • 2XLPatriot

    Here we go again. Another Lunsford who is nothing more than a baby mill. Personal liberties be damned! These people need to be sterilized, horse whipped and exiled. Pieces of excrement!

    • Fentanyl Bomb

      Let me get this straight. Giving birth to two children constitutes a baby mill to you? Do you know this woman or her family? Anything about the situation other than a State Police statement? If so, please enlighten us. If not, please keep your impotent anger to yourself.

      My thoughts are with this family and I pray this poor child has found a peace in Heaven that escaped him on Earth.

      • To be frank

        She has three children. The oldest she does not have custody of. Considering her drug problem (and drug arrests), she should have never had custody of the other two to begin with either! This lies on the Judge's hands, period!

    • John

      Lets will start with you

      • Fentanyl Bomb

        I know that this child suffered from a genetic condition that limited his chances of a long life. He was 8 years into an expectancy of 10. Hospice was involved in his care until recently. There are Grandparents in the picture who would likely not abide by gross neglect, as insinuated. The point is that I know no more or less than anyone on this site.

        Then again, I am not calling for forced sterilization and horesewhipping without more information, either.

        The irony of someone with Patriot in their nick saying "Personal liberties be damned" goes without saying.