CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The parents of a 20-month-old boy who died of malnutrition may have violated WIC rules.

Carla Adkins, of Ashton, and Jimmie Edwards, of Milton, were arrested earlier this week and charged with felony child neglect resulting in death. Their son, Carson, died in March 2013. The final autopsy report on his death was released last month.

Investigators claim the couple would take WIC products and return the child’s infant formula to a store in exchange for money which they used to buy meth. They were allegedly giving the baby whole milk which he was not able to properly digest and caused his death.

The Women, Infants, Children program provides infant formula to low income families who can’t afford to purchase it on their own. Cindy Pillo, the acting director of the Office of Nutrition Services with the state DHHR told MetroNews Wednesday recipients go through a thorough vetting process and during each certification visit must sign a participation agreement which includes the guidelines and rules of the program.

“We also have several (points) and one of them is ‘Do not trade or sell WIC food or formula with your WIC benefits,'” stressed Pillo.

Parents who need to exchange WIC-purchased formula must do so at a WIC clinic where everything is documented. The returns are exchanged only for products that the children can use. Selling them to stores or over the Internet is not allowed.

“It is against federal WIC policy to do that,” said Pillo.

There are also guidelines for stores who sell formula in exchange for WIC vouchers. Stores cannot “Knowingly exchange or refund money for WIC food items.”

Pillo said WIC does look out for potential fraud.

“We do have a program integrity unit that reviews any abuse allegations. We also have a compliance person in our compliance unit that does compliance buys. In grocery stores, anytime we have any allegations of of abuse, we investigate those also,” stressed Pillo.

Pillo could not speak directly to the case involving Adkins and Edwards or whether they had been under investigation.

Adkins and Edwards remain in jail on $500,000 bail each.

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  • wsr

    I have to take drug tests to work for a living, These freeloaders should have to take a drug test before they get to use my money so they can lay around on their asses!!!!!!

  • RedGal

    Where was the thorough screening process when this child should have been evaluated at Well Child visits in order to continue receiving the WIC benefits? Over a 20 month period, this wasn't noticed by ANYONE? You can't put drug addicts on the honor system and give them the benefit of the doubt that they'll do the right thing. Just because you tell them not to sell or trade their benefits does not mean they will comply. All they see is their next high. And I'm a firm believer that if one receives state or federal aid, then one should be required to submit to random drug testing. I find it insulting to every honest, hard working person out there whose taxpayer dollars go to fund these folks.

  • Dumb Liberals

    Hey, Ms. Cindy Pillo, acting director of the Office of Nutrition Services with the state DHHR, you can't be that STUPID, or can you? I'd even bet you're a registered democrat, (d), liberal, socialist too! These animals could care less about rules, guidelines or laws! THEY"RE DRUG ADDICTS! Last time I checked illegal drugs & narcotics were against the LAW. What makes you think they would tell the truth on that little piece of paper that's their free ride to their next fix? This just reinforces the common sense move to drug test ALL welfare recipients, to which these scum are. 100%! I am of the firm believe that one of the qualifications to work for DHHR is they have to be dumber than a rock and completely oblivious to the real world.

    • John of Wayne

      Einstein said, "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits." It does seem that the mission of many of our state agencies is to prove that statement correct. And as you have observed, they do that quite well.

    • Arthur

      Well said.....this was just her "cover my butt" response.

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    I'm calling shenanigans on this story! A 20 month old baby still on formula/ whole milk diet? Almost two years old not on solid foods? I have a 20 month old that hasn't touched a bottle in 10 months. I know all kids are different but I don't know any year and a halfs that are still on straight formula. Come on MetroNews there's more to this story.

    • Dr. Sarcasm

      Both of my kids had a severe milk allergy and had to be on neocate, but only up to 12 months. But they ate solid foods as well. These are idiot parents but I highly doubt not having formula is the direct cause in this story. Not being fed at all is more likely!

      • Oh Did Ya?

        I doubt they just started doing that when he was 20 months. It has probably been happening his entire life. Extremely sad....RIP little guy.

  • Mr.P

    Selling your child's formula for drugs as a result the child dies from starvation should carry a DEATH SENTENCE!!

    • Jason

      Slow starvation death sentence.

  • FNP

    I got great idea! Let's start tying up some tubes or doing some snipping. I'm so tired of hearing that ppl cant afford things. If you cant afford things then stop having kids. If you cant afford milk, food, or gas then give up the cigarettes. There are plenty of people out there who would gladly take these children and give them a good home.

  • richard

    Let's see, they killed their child and we are worried about them breaking the WIC rules? Funny if it were not so sad.

    • Darren

      They were arrested for murder. This story is about posible additional charges. Sounds to me like they want to use every law possible to put them away.

    • whatamoroon

      I completely agree. Who cares what law they broke that's punishable by some stupid slap on the wrist when a child is dead. Geez.

      • Jim - Morgantown

        Lets try a new death penalty law in WV, Death by Starvation, and let them suffer like their little baby.

  • Mike Cieraszynski

    I'm assuming they were or will be interrogated to find out what store or stores participated in this fraud and they will also be arrested.

    • Arthur

      I sure hope so.

  • mitch

    This is kind of like saying "Man That Robs Bank Also Jaywalks During Getaway".

  • Gina Martin

    Anyone who receives any type of public assistance should be regularly and randomly drug tested period! It 's a no brainer.

    • richard


    • susanf1218

      This is an absolutely perfect example of why they should be drug tested. I agree with you 1000%!! Maybe this child's sad life and terrible death will spur the Legislature to make drug testing mandatory for ANY public assistance program - with the possible of exception of elderly Medicaid recipients who are in nursing homes. Everyone else should be required to submit to drug testing if they receive public assistance.

      • Evie

        agree, but politicians wont do that for fear of losing votes

        • hillbilly

          Do you think these drug addicted losers actually vote? The only thing on their mind is "How can I get my next fix?"

          • Jason


          • Jason

            Yes. People that 100# rely on the government to take care of them vote. That is the only way to ensure their free "assistance" to maintain their lifestyle.

  • jfk

    throw away the key,,,,NO dig a hole, put them in a cardboard box, push it in the hole and cover it up.

    • richard

      Look up the laws. I believe they can only get 15 years in prison and a fine of $1000. Pathetic! This is a case where the public should step in and finish off their sorry drug addicted ass before the courts ever have a chance.

  • Returned to store??

    In the original article it stated they returned the product to the store for cash, why is the name of that store not mentioned in any article

  • David

    WIC looks for fraud like Medicaid, Medicare, SS, foodstamps and every other program looks for it...

    In other words they don't look to hard or 40 cents of every dollar spent on it wouldn't be for fraud, waste and abuse.

    The main they look for is to give it to as many people as they possibly can whether they need or not so they can grow the program.

  • Shadow

    Hang 'em all high.

    • Evie

      Publically !

      • Shadow

        It would be a well attended event.

  • johnny

    A thorough screening process ? Seems like maybe the people doing the screening dropped the ball in this case. In this report it sounds like someone is trying to cover there own butt. All parties involved should get the stiffest penalties possible.