MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee mother is facing child neglect charges following the death of her 42-pound teenage son.
Hector J. Pizarro, 16, died Sept. 4 at a Milwaukee medical clinic where his mother, Iraida M. Pizarro-Osorio, had taken him after he became unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
The complaint said the teen appeared extremely emaciated and that his skeletal structure was visible underneath his skin.
Pizarro-Osorio told police her son had a chromosome disorder, was epileptic and autistic and that the condition impacted his ability to gain weight. She said he also had the mental capacity of a small child and never weighed more than 75 to 80 pounds.
She told investigators that she gave the teen “normal” food, a liquid supplement, milk and other liquids, but two weeks ago his appetite began to diminish, the charging document said.
Pizarro-Osorio admitted to lying to investigators about traveling to Puerto Rico where she said doctors had refused to see her son because she didn’t have insurance, prosecutors said. She told them she had prior referrals to child protective services and was afraid of losing her son and her two other children.
The complaint notes the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s autopsy on the teen revealed multiple signs of severe malnutrition and that he weighed just 42 pounds. The cause of the boy’s death is still pending, according to the medical examiner.
Pizarro-Osorio is charged with one count of chronic child neglect resulting in great bodily harm. Pizarro-Osorio’s public defender, Reyna Morales, declined to comment on the case.