MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A Muncie mother is facing charges after her baby was diagnosed as severely malnourished with “failure to thrive.”
Mercedes Setzer, 21, was arrested on Wednesday. She has now been charged with neglect of a dependent, a level three felony.
Department of Child Services sent the case to the Muncie Police Department. Last September, Setzer’s child was diagnosed as “failure to thrive.” A report said it was “likely secondary to inadequate calories at home, missed PCP appointments, and mom’s reported use of marijuana.” Setzer also told investigators she had not been doing nightly feedings.
The baby, born weighing 5 lbs., 10 oz., had only gained a little over three pounds by the age of five months, according to court documents.
24-Hour News 8, talked with neighbors who say they’ve never seen the baby come out of Setzer’s home.
“That breaks my heart for that poor little child, there is nothing in this world that a child has done to deserve that, for a mother not to take care of a child, how could she not,” said Tomi Barnhouse, a resident.
Court documents said the child was able to gain weight during hospital admissions or when in the care of the maternal grandmother.
Investigators said Setzer blamed the lack of weight gain on the baby having “reflux and puking all the time.”Join the discussion on Facebook: