by Alex Rozier, KHQ Local News Reporter - bio | email
Michelle Staats in court on Tuesday
Michelle and Robert Staats leaving the courthouse on Tuesday
UPDATE: KHQ Alex Rozier here. I'm reading over the court documents in the child abuse investigation involving the Moses Lake parents. The parents have said from the beginning that they don't believe in modern medicine, so they go the natural route.
But last November their naturalist doctor advised the parents of their son's critical condition and that he could "die" if they didn't take him to the hospital. According to the naturalist doctor the mother refused saying she believed she could help him with modern medicine. This May their two almost three year old baby (the same kid) was found by emergency responders without a heartbeat weighing less than ten pounds.
Doctors described him as "starved." That baby remained on life support for a few months and now is in a long term care facility as his parents face criminal mistreatment of a child charges. If the child dies the Grant County Prosecutor recommends the parents be charged with murder. Today they made their first court appearance
EPHRATA, Wash. - Michelle and Robert Staats, the parents charged with criminal mistreatment of their Moses Lake baby, appeared in court Tuesday for the first time.
The judge set their arraignment for October 23rd so they could have enough time to gather funds for an attorney.
The baby remains in a long term care facility, but is no longer on life support. In court documents the prosecutor recommends that if the baby were to pass away that the parents be charged with murder.
According to the Prosecutor's report, in an interview with detectives, the father, Robert Staats, revealed a number of things. He stated that they were never out to abuse their child, but they wanted to try to do things the natural way, without medical treatment. Robert Staats said their baby was "a normal, nice chunky kid" until about a year ago. In the court documents the doctor who treated the baby boy described him as "starved."
The father explained that all of their kids (5 of them) were born at home, with no complications. The day after the children were born they went and had them registered.
In court document the father expressed that he wishes they would have taken their boy in sooner.
"I wish my wife wasn't so scared of the medical, like this would have never happened," Robert Staats said.
The mother now says she too wishes she would have done things different, but in court documents acknowledged a lot of people died from modern medicine and that is why she believed that the natural way was the most effective.
According to his mother the baby weighed 8 pounds at birth. When emergency responders arrived to her home two years later, the baby weighed ten pounds.
According to medical records included in the court documents the baby weighed seven pounds at birth on August 14th, 2009. By February of 2010 the baby weighed 21 pounds. In May, 2011 the baby was under 10.
Check for more coverage throughout the day.
Check for more coverage throughout the day.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE FROM MAY:
ALEX ROZIER: I've confirmed that the 2-year-old Moses Lake alleged child abuse case is now in the hands of the prosecutors office. The Grant County Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation, and at this time no arrests have been made. The 2-year-old remains on life support but has been transferred from Sacred Heart. Grant County is unable to clarify where he went. The prosecutor could not confirm whether or not charges were recommended. It was more than a month ago when emergency responders arrived at the home of a 2-year-old Moses Lake boy weighing less than 10 pounds without a heartbeat.
MOSES LAKE, Wash. - KHQ continues to learn new information regarding the ongoing child abuse investigation in Moses Lake. One week ago emergency crews arrived to find a mother on the ground giving her two year old boy CPR. The boy weighed less than ten pounds and detectives described him as "emaciated." They quickly flew the child by MedStar to Spokane and they did not expect him to survive. Tonight that baby is still on life support at the hospital.
Less than 24 hours ago a search warrant laid out the scary details of when emergency responders arrived at the home. We made a few more calls today to try to get answers about what the hospital is currently treating the baby boy for, but due to confidentiality laws they could not even confirm that he was at the hospital, let alone tell us what his condition might be. The Grant County Sheriff's Office said today that the boy remains in Spokane at Sacred Heart, but they have no idea what the boy's condition was that set all of this in motion.
On Tuesday, the search warrant described the boy as "skin and bone" and said that he had "no muscle tone, no hair and suffered severe malnutrition." Also within that document the detective said that the boy had no medical record and that the mother sought treatment for him through a Naturopathic Doctor. To give a better idea, this type of naturalist treatment is for people who do not believe in modern medicine. Most of these kinds of doctors employ lifestyle, diet, and exercise changes, along with a different type of natural therapy to help patients combat disease.
The search warrant revealed the boy was age two, closer to age three and weighed 8-10 pounds. The average weight of a two-year-old is 34 to 48 pounds.
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