On Sunday, a mother was arrested and has been accused of starving her child to death while inside an empty apartment.
The child, Halle Smith, 8, weighed around 15 pounds around the time of her death and Child Protective Services stated that the pictures taken at the time of her death were disturbing and reveal that the child may have suffered from malnutrition.
Halle had lost 40 percent of her body weight around the time of her death, according to the medical examiner.
Prosecutors believe that Halle’s mother, Almita Nicole Lockhart, 34, left her daughter isolated in an empty abode and did not provide her with food.
Estella Olguin, a spokeswoman for CPS, described the pictures as being the worst she had ever seen of an individual and was upset simply by looking at them.
Her mother brought Halle to the emergency room back in January 2009 as the child was unresponsive. As Halle was a special needs child that had to be hooked to a feeding tube, investigators stated that as the reasoning behind the investigation taking so much time along with trying to determine the cause of death.
Medical examiners have ruled the death as being a homicide and state that it was due to malnutrition and dehydration, according to Donna Hawkins of the district attorney’s officer.
Along with Halle, Lockhart is said to have nine other children, but upon investigation, CPS found out that none of the children lived at home and some had not attended school. The children are aged between 2 and 18.
Further investigation found that the actual caretakers of the children held drugs and weapons within their home.
Lockhart, herself, had served time behind bars for illegal drugs which was discovered by CPS back in 2006 when they had visited the home of the mother and Halle. At that time, the house was furnished, Halle was healthy looking and there was food within the home.
Court documents have also revealed that the mother was given the opportunity to have her daughter receive nursing care 24-7, but she declined.
CPS is now in the process of revoking the mother’s rights to be a parent.