Vigo County couple arrested on neglect charges after death of 5-year-old girl who weighed 16 pounds
VIGO COUNTY, Ind. – Two Vigo County parents have been arrested in connection with the death of a 5-year-old in January 2016.
The Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office released information on the arrests of Brian Moseman and Tiffany Daugherty. Both face charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, according to WTHI.
The charges against them are:
- neglect of a dependent resulting in death
- neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury
- neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury
- two counts of neglect of a dependent
According to court documents their 5-year-old daughter A.M. died on Jan. 21, 2016. She weighed just 16 pounds.
Court documents show A.M. was left in the care of a grandparent. The grandparent told police that A.M. was awake when Daugherty dropped her off around 11 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2016. But when the grandparent checked on her again, “she noticed A.M.’s eyes were ‘fixed’ and [she had] pale lips.” When the grandparent noticed A.M. wasn’t breathing, she immediately called Daugherty and then 911.
A.M. was transported to Regional Hospital but did not survive.
During an interview with Daugherty, she told police that she was kicked in the stomach when she was 7-8 months pregnant with A.M. She stated A.M. was born “brain dead” and was in Riley Hospital for Children for six weeks before Daugherty was given the option of keeping her alive or not.
Daugherty stated that she chose to keep A.M. The girl was blind, deaf and mute when she was released from the hospital. A.M. also had a tracheotomy.
The Indiana Department of Child Services interviewed Moseman and Daugherty’s other children: a 7 year-old, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. The 7 year-old told DCS that the other children were not allowed to go into A.M.’s room or touch her. The 6-year-old told DCS that A.M. could not walk, hear or see.
“When [the 6 year-old] tells [Daugherty] that A.M. is hungry, [Daugherty] says A.M.’s name in an exacerbated tone,” court documents stated.
Detectives with the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office and members of DCS went to the home of Moseman and Daugherty after the girl’s death. Moseman and Daugherty consented to the search and guided investigators through the residence.
Moseman showed detectives where A.M.’s food was kept, the room where A.M. slept and the feeding machine that was used to provide her with food.
“When questioned about A.M.’s weight gain, Daugherty and Moseman stated that they do not keep a feeding chart for A.M.,” court documents stated.
Dr. Roland Kohr, a forensic pathologist, performed the autopsy on A.M. on Jan. 22, 2016.
Kohr reported neglect was a concern because the child, “did not have much food residue, she was underweight, and there is a lack of nourishment.” Kohr indicated there were no signs of physical abuse and the initial cause of death was ‘patchy bronchopneumonia and malnutrition.’”
“The Department of Child Services indicated that they substantiated this case due to neglect and environment life/health endangering against Mother and Father in regards to A.M. The report indicated that there was significant lack of medical follow through for A.M. DCS also found that both parents were not honest in regarding the child’s medical care,” court documents stated.
The Department of Child Services spoke with Riley Development PEDS and learned that A.M. had not been seen in their office since July 2012. According to medical records, A.M. was diagnosed with Microcephaly (small head), Mitochondrial Disorder and seizures. It was recommended that A.M. be seen in specific Riley units.
DCS spoke with the doctor listed as A.M.’s ongoing pediatrician. That office stated A.M. was seen once in November 2013. There were no annual visits. That office referred A.M. to specialists. A.M. was seen by another doctor on Dec. 7, 2015, in regards to A.M.’s trachea and had a prescription filled.
Court documents indicated that A.M. was not getting the amount of food she was required and she was not getting her medication. Daugherty told police that she wouldn’t always give A.M. the medicine because “I don’t believe in drugging my child.” She also told police that she stopped taking A.M. to doctor appointments because she believed they were using A.M. as a “guinea pig.”
During an interview, Moseman stated that he had little to do with the care of A.M., but that he was the provider. Court documents show Moseman believed A.M. was being taken to doctor appointments because Daugherty would always tell him about the visits and that A.M. was healthy.
In an assessment done by the Indiana Department of Child Services, the following is a history of the child’s weight:
- January of 2016: 16.94 pounds (time of death)
- December of 2015: 17.12 pounds (medical records)
- November of 2013: 16 pounds (medical records)
- July of 2012: 21 pounds (medical records)
- September of 2011: 14 pounds (medical records)
- April 2011: 8 pounds (Riley PEDS Unit)
On Oct. 25, 2016, Kohr provided a final report on this case. Kohr stated “there are several indications of medical neglect in this case,” court documents show.
“These include a failure to gain weight while in the care of her parents, in spite of consistent pattern of gaining weight while in the care of hospital personnel; a failure to seek ongoing medical care at Riley Hospital for several years in a child with major medical issues; and severe malnutrition at the time of her death in spite of having been provided special feeding materials by social service. Dr. Kohr indicated that the lack of medical care provided to A.M. and malnutrition directly contributed to the death of A.M.”
Documents also show that both Daugherty and Moseman tested positive for THC on Jan. 21, 2016.
Daugherty and Moseman were booked into the Vigo County Jail on Tuesday.