8-year-old boy allegedly starved to death by parents weighed 30 lbs

Starving Boy
Credit: PEORIA COUNTY JAIL via People

During an Illinois father’s ongoing murder trial, on the second day of testimony, a forensic pathologist revealed that the deceased baby boy weighed only 30 lbs at the time of his death, which the prosecutors allege was a result of the boy’s parents starving him.

Dr. Amanda Youmans, a forensic pathologist in Peoria, Ill., about 170 miles southwest of Chicago, performed an autopsy on the 8-year-old boy and discovered that he had lost almost all his fat storage and his organs appeared smaller than normal, per her testimony, reported  WCBU and WMBD-TV reported from the courtroom.

The reports reiterate that Navin Jones was found unresponsive on March 29, 2022, at his family’s Peoria, Ill., home and later pronounced dead at the hospital. Concerning his son’s murder, Brandon Walker is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

The pathologist Youmans testified that the 8-year-old died from extreme malnutrition and forms of physical abuse, which was observed via bruises on his body in various stages of healing and said due to muscle atrophy, his mobility would’ve been limited at the time of death.

Additionally, People reported that last week, Navin’s mother, Stephanie Jones, pleaded guilty and was charged with one count of first-degree murder as part of a plea deal, citing Peoria County court records. Her sentencing is set for February 2024.

WMBD-TV reported that in court evidence gathered during the Walker trial, text messages between Jones and Walker surfaced where they seemed to be angry at their son for eating food from the trash and urinating on the walls.

Laura Walker, Navin’s grandmother, also testified in court, saying she had legal custody of Navin and his brother. Often, she would let them visit their parents, but one time during these visits, the parents refused to allow them to return to Laura in 2021. Laura even claimed that the boys were never returned to her despite filing a report with the Department of Children and Family Service.

Walker’s defense attorneys state that the reason for Navin’s death is to be blamed on the mother. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.

Disclaimer: If you come across any information on child abuse or need to report a case, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453 or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.