Parents Plead Not Guilty to Cruelty Charges

A Norwich mother and father have been arrested, accused of child neglect after their 14-year-old son died of malnutrition and pneumonia, according to police.

Julie and Mark Carlos, both 59, appeared in court on Friday, weeks after police started investigating, and pleaded not guilty.

At 6:08 a.m. on May 2, emergency officials responded to the family's home at 112 Dunham Street after receiving a 911 call.

Julie had asked one of her children to call 911 because the 14-year-old was sick and had possibly fainted, according to the application for an arrest warrant.  

When emergency officials responded to the home, they found a child in the driveway, and his mother was performing CPR. He had no pulse, paramedics told police.

When paramedics asked if the child had been sick, Julie Carlos said her son “had cold-like symptoms, diarrhea and a cough for a couple weeks.” The affidavit mentions she came off as "monotone and unemotional."

Police said the Carlos’ 14- and 16-year-old sons both had symptoms of pneumonia, and six siblings in the home -- ranging from 11 years old to 22 -- were thin and unkempt.

The 14-year-old was flown to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and died on the same day, according to police. In the application for an arrest warrant, police noted that his body mass index was 15.81, considered underweight, police said.

As police investigated, doctors said the child appeared to have suffered a long-lasting illness and that evidence suggested a pattern of neglect and failure on the part of the parents to seek appropriate medical attention and address the child's basic needs.

While the 14-year-old was the sickest, the 16-year-old son also transported from the home. He was taken to William W. Backus Hospital, where he was admitted and released after receiving treatment, according to police.

The 11- and 12-year-old children were placed with other family members. 

Officials from the Norwich school department said they have no record of the children in the public schools and Julie Carlos told police that she home-schooled her children, according to the affidavit.

Police charged Julie Carlos and Mark Carlos, 59, with cruelty to persons and risk of injury to a minor.

Both were released on $150,000 non-surety bonds and appeared in court on Friday with their attorney.

No one made any comments as they left court.

The judge acknowledged that the parents have been cooperating. They are due back in court on June 27.

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