Autopsy reveals child died of starvation

WELCH, W.Va. — The state Medical Examiner concluded the death of a seven year old girl in McDowell County was a result of starvation.

“They said the child died from malnutrition not attributed to disease,” said McDowell County Sheriff Martin West. “That just means the child was starved to death.”

However, any criminal charges in the case may be filed in Davidson County, North Carolina.

“The child had only been in McDowell County for three days,” said West.

How and why the seven year old girl wound up in the Mohawk community near Iaeger after leaving North Carolina is part of the investigation.

“Knowledge so far is that a girlfriend brought the child back to the father,” West said. “The mother is not in the picture, so we don’t really know all of her details.”

West said it’s unclear if perhaps the child was brought to West Virginia because of the conditions she was living under in North Carolina or if perhaps she was brought to West Virginia to coverup and hide those same conditions. The Davidson County, North Carolina sheriff’s department opened its own investigation into the case. West said the two departments are coordinating, but so far was unsure if anyone in his county would be charged.

“It’s pretty bad just to imagine it,” said West. “We’re still checking on our part here and we’re going to talk to the people here and to the prosecutor and decide if there’s probable cause for criminal charges here on their part.”

The child’s name was not released.

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