New information has come to light about a set of parents who were arrested over the weekend after law officers said their four children appeared to be malnourished.
One of those children was a newborn baby. The couple said the baby was actually delivered on the beach days before they sought medical help.
Heather Sanders, 22, and Ryan Sanders, 26, were charged with three counts of injury to a child. On Monday, 3News obtained a copy of court documents that led to the children being placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The affidavit paints a very disturbing picture of the children's conditions, and why officials began their investigation. The documents show that the family had been living on the beach for the last few weeks in their Sport Utility Vehicle.
It was on Friday when Heather Sanders showed up to the emergency room at Driscoll Children's Hospital with her newborn baby. She told the medical staff there that she gave birth to her daughter four days prior, on the beach, and that her husband, Ryan Sanders, helped deliver the baby. A nurse examined the infant, which was said to be malnourished and had low blood sugar.
Hospital staff offered the mother a hospital room, or a room at the Ronald McDonald House, but she refused, saying that they did not "need charity."
At the time, Heather Sanders reported two of her other children were with their grandmother in South Carolina. However, a welfare check was made, and the grandmother told CPS that the parents picked up the kids three months ago.
The report also states that Heather Sanders walked out of Driscoll Children's Hospital against medical advice, and didn't return to check on her newborn until Saturday.
After the children were examined, it was found that the one-year old girl was underweight, and her physical appearance showed severe malnutrition. She began to vomit because of re-feeding syndrome, and she showed signs of starvation. She had bruising and extensive diaper rash, along with multiple abrasions, and what appeared to be an ulcer on her bottom.
The three-year old child was also underweight. The child's mother said she had been eating sand, crayons, leaves and a bug. The report said that the child also showed signs of starvation.
The four-year old also showed several ailments and starvation.
According to police, Heather Sanders admitted to ongoing methamphetimine use in the presence of the children and while pregnant. Both she and Ryan Sanders refused to submit to a drug test.
Pictures were included in the affidavit, however, 3News felt they are too graphic to show.
Future charges are pending, and a civil case has been set for two weeks from Monday.
The full affidavit is posted below:
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