Troopers detail death of 20-month-old child; parents returned formula for cash

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — State Police investigators say shifting priorities of two drug addicted adults claimed the life of their 20-month-old son.

Investigators released more information Tuesday about the investigation in Mason County that resulted in the arrests this week of Carla Adkins, 26, of Ashton and Jimmie Edwards, 24, of Milton. They are charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

State Police Sgt. Larry O’Bryan said Adkins and Edwards would take WIC money and purchase infant’s formula only to return the product for cash and use the money to buy meth. O’Bryan said the boy was only fed whole milk, which he was too young to receive.

“The stomach begins to bleed and then the organs begin to fail and brain development doesn’t happen,” O’Bryan said. “The child died of severe anemia based on malnutrition.”

Carson Adkins died March 2013.

Adkins told troopers she knew her son was sick and needed to see a doctor but put it off. Sgt. O’Bryan said the infant was only seen one time and that’s when he was five months old.

O’Bryan has investigated a lot of meth cases and he’s seen abuse by parents. He said their priorities shift.

“From their children and their own welfare to that of when they are going to get their next hit, instead of thinking about when does the baby need to eat. So they feed the addiction instead of the children. So children are basically the victims all the way around of their parents’ addiction,” O’Bryan said.

Investigators said the information about the death was turned over to the state Medical Examiner’s Office last year but a backlog at the office resulted in the delay of a final report until last month. Troopers continued the investigation and filed the charges Monday.

Both Adkins and Edwards are being held on $500,000 bail each at the Western Regional Jail.

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