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November 21, 2006

Tragic. Pathetic.

This is an unfortunate and true story.

All emphasis is added.

Parents charged in death

The facial bones jutting from the dead 7-month-old boy's sunken skin, the bed sore on his back, and the "minimal" store of baby food in the house first raised the question with investigators.

Nathan Rosier Jr.'s medical and welfare records, his disheveled home and an autopsy told them the rest of what they needed to know, they said.

State police arrested Nathan's parents, Crystal Peace and Nathan Rosier Sr., Monday on charges they grossly neglected to provide adequate food, living conditions and health care to keep Nathan alive. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Police also accused the couple of endangering the life of Nathan's twin brother, Tyler, who police said was also malnourished.

Had Jake not been removed from the family's Waterford home and placed in Saint Vincent Health Center after his brother's death Oct. 13, he likely would have died within a few days as well, Erie County Forensic Pathologist Dr. Eric Vey said Monday.

The negligent care came at the same time the twins' mother was receiving more than $1,200 a month from the state to pay for their care, police said.

The arrests Monday marked the culmination of an investigation that began with the discovery of Nathan's body in his crib.

Authorities immediately labeled the death "suspicious," but they said they wanted to determine whether neglect or a medical problem caused the child's malnourished condition and death.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook ruled the manner of Nathan's death a homicide Monday.

Cook said an autopsy by Vey determined the cause of death was "severe nutritional wasting due to neglect."

Crystal Peace, 19, and her boyfriend, Nathan Rosier Sr., 20, was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

"This baby was not properly fed," District Attorney Brad Foulk said. "Nutritional wasting is when someone starves to death."

Peace, 19, and Nathan Rosier Sr., 20, of 28 Harding Ave., Waterford, are each charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Police also charged Peace's father, Larry Peace, 56, with two counts of endangering the welfare of children because he lived with the couple and their children, Foulk said.

"We are alleging he knew or should have known the children were in danger," Foulk said.

The three were arraigned before District Judge Gerard Alonge, and were in Erie County Prison on Monday night. Crystal Peace and Nathan Rosier Sr. were each being held on $10,000 bond; LarryPeace was being held on $5,000 bond.

The criminal complaint said paramedics found the younger Nathan dead in his crib on Oct. 13, after Crystal Peace discovered he had died and Nathan Rosier Sr. asked a neighbor to call 911.

The twins were born 10 weeks premature on March 16 and remained hospitalized for seven weeks, Vey said. At the time Nathan and Tyler were released from the hospital at 7 weeks old, they weighed 4.2 pounds and 4.6 pounds respectively, the criminal complaint said.

Medical records from doctor visits at 7 weeks, 11 weeks and 18 weeks showed the boys' weight steadily increased, Vey said. But then the records stop after that last visit, in July, when Nathan weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and Tyler, 8 pounds, 10 ounces, state police said.

At the time of Nathan's death at 29 weeks, he was almost 23 inches long and weighed just under 6 pounds, about 40 percent below the weight he should have been, Vey said.

No other medical reason for the boys' condition, other than a lack of adequate nutrition, was found, Vey said.

Tyler gained weight in the hospital after his brother's death and weighed 9.6 pounds when he was released. In 21 days of treatment, he gained 1.6 pounds, or 16 percent of his body weight, the criminal complaint said.

The Erie County Office of Children and Youth took custody of Tyler and his 18 month-old brother, Alex, after Nathan's death. It placed Tyler and Alex in foster care and is seeking to retain control over the children in Erie County Family Court.

In the criminal complaint, police said paramedics found Nathan lying in his crib on his back with his head turned to the side. There was blood and body fluids around his mouth and nose and similar material about 6 inches away on his bed, they said.

His skin was extremely pale and gray and he appeared so malnourished his skin sank and conformed to his facial bones, arresting officer Trooper Dale Wimer said in the criminal complaint.

Nathan had an ear infection and an open rash on his buttocks, which were dirty with feces, Vey said.

Records showed that Crystal Peace successfully applied for Women, Infants and Children nutritional benefits, or WIC, in Union City in May, police said. Police said she received benefits in May and June, but failed to show up to receive benefits in July.

Police said she also successfully applied for $603 a month per twin boy in supplemental Social Security Income in April 2006. She received the first check in June, and back payments for April and May were received in July, police said.

"The parents were given available means through the Social Security Administration to provide adequate care, however, they chose to neglect these infant children and put them into the severe poor physical condition," Trooper Wimer wrote in the criminal complaint.

What in the hell were these people doing with all that money????

Source: Erie Times-News

Show Comments

Posted by Groovyvic at 08:57 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

... good God... and they are on 10K bond... that is completely sickening... completely....

Posted by: Eric at November 21, 2006 12:50 PM

The cruelty and sadism that can be exhibited by human beings amazes me and sickens me at the same time. I will never understand it.

Posted by: Carl at November 21, 2006 03:07 PM

Horrible, just horrible.

Posted by: tony at November 21, 2006 06:52 PM

I believe there is more here to blame than the parents and grandparent. Why wasn't social services involved with this family? Though, maybe they were. It wouldn't be the first time they were involved, and a child died from obvious neglect. Also, what about the responsibilities of the physician's office? This was a high risk family, they should have been more frequently followed. If there were appointments missed, what action was taken? What education was done to prepare a 19 year old mother to care for premature twins. I know I wouldn't have been prepared for this at 19, without support from my family and/or professionals. Definately, the parents need to be held responsible, but I think a closer look at the social service system that was in place is a necessary action. Prevention of future incidents, along with punishment of those involved should be considered.

Posted by: Kim at November 22, 2006 09:41 AM

Horrible. There's simply no other word for it.

Posted by: junebee at November 23, 2006 11:27 AM


Posted by: MAXINE at November 24, 2006 09:56 AM