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4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child 

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2011, 12:11 PM
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4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

DETROIT, May 11 (UPI) -- A Highland Park, Mich., couple were charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the starvation death of their 4-year-old nephew, prosecutors said.




Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Randy Steven Gardner, 32, and Matilda Jane Brown Gardner, 30, were charged in the death of 4-year-old Robert Byrd Jr. Sunday in their home. Both face arraignment Thursday on charges including child abuse, torture and murder.

Emergency personnel discovered the child's bruised, emaciated and scarred body at their home Mother's Day, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

"The child in this case suffered unspeakable acts that led to his death. The evidence in this case will show that the charged defendants are responsible for these acts," Worthy said. "It's ironic that this happened on a day where we recognize and celebrate mothers across the nation."

"They starved my son," the 31-year-old father, Anthony Byrd, said crying.

The child, who suffered from sickle cell anemia, and his 6-year-old brother, Anthony Byrd Jr., had been in the care of their aunt and uncle since 2009 when their father went to prison for felonious assault.

The elder Byrd was unable to regain custody of his sons when he was released nine months later. The children's mother died of a brain aneurysm in 2007, the News said.

"They kept changing addresses and phone numbers, and wouldn't let me see my sons," Byrd said. "I was trying to be an adult about it, but they kept playing me."

An autopsy by the county Medical Examiner's Office determined 3-foot, 1-inch tall, 24 pound Robert Byrd's death was a homicide by starvation and neglect.

Based on a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standard, Robert weighed what a 2-year-old on the low end of a normal range would weigh, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"Nobody knew what was going on there," said Michelle Burnett, Anthony Byrd Sr.'s sister.

Police say they suspect the child may have been tortured before his death.

Highland Park police Detective Sgt. Brenda Perkins said Robert had a burn on his leg, and had bruises from "head to toe," and marks around his wrist suggesting he had been tied, the Free Press reported.

There were five other children in the home but police say it doesn't appear any of them were abused.

Police said county Child Protective Services workers took Anthony Byrd Jr. and four other children, while the elder Byrd's daughter was in the care of another relative, the News reported.

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  #2  
Old 05-12-2011, 01:18 PM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

Disgusting and heartbreaking

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:41 PM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child


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Old 05-12-2011, 09:26 PM
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:23 PM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

starve them. skin them. set them on fire.

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Old 05-13-2011, 06:00 AM
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:16 AM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

This goes beyond terrible, I couldn't do that to an animal let alone a child

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:10 AM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

I've seen the video section of this website from front page to the oldest posts in the archives, but this is horrible in ways that video couldn't show.. I don't see how they could have treated the boy so horribly, and a 4 year old that weighs only 24 lbs!

As debatable as the fathers role in his childrens life was, at least he took steps to try and get his children back.. even life with a violent felon would be preferable to this. It's just insanity.

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

house looks like something from a horror movie

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Old 05-13-2011, 04:35 PM
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Re: 4-year-old Boy Dies; Couple Starved, Tortured Child

Hang the bastards.

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