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Mom charged after baby nearly dies from starvation, sheriff’s office says

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office said Haylee Kent, 21, was charged with multiple counts of...
The Baker County Sheriff’s Office said Haylee Kent, 21, was charged with multiple counts of child neglect with and without great bodily harm.(Baker County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Gray News) – A 21-year-old mother in Florida is facing charges after her baby nearly died from starvation because she found feeding the child “annoying,” according to officials.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that Haylee Kent was charged with multiple counts of child neglect with and without great bodily harm.

The investigation began when Kent’s grandmother took the baby to the hospital April 6 after she noticed that he was severely underweight. Medical staff notified the sheriff’s office that the child was “gravely ill due to life-threatening starvation.”

Hospital staff said the 8-month-old child was the average weight of a 2-month-old. The baby also had a skull fracture.

According to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Kent did not visit her baby at the hospital, and she did not cooperate with authorities during their investigation.

Several days later, Kent agreed to meet with detectives. They said Kent admitted that she felt the way her child needed to be fed was “sometimes annoying,” so she opted not to feed him.

Detectives said they discovered the child had suffered a pattern of neglect since the day he was born, including a lack of necessary medical attention, malnourishment and failure to provide a safe home environment. Kent was arrested April 19.

The sheriff’s office said despite the sad circumstances, the child is now recovering, gaining weight and has been placed in foster care.

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