JAY, Okla. – A Delaware County woman is facing two counts of felony child neglect after police said she starved her children and made them eat dog feces.
Mary Elizabeth Moore, 34, remains in custody Monday afternoon. According to court documents, her 5-year-old and 3-year-old children were hospitalized at the Saint Francis Hospital intensive care unit and “so malnourished that hospital staff had to place them on a special diet and applied nasal feeding tubes to both children.”
The older child weighed just 26 pounds while the younger sibling weighed about 18 pounds, the affidavit states.
“While DHS was at the hospital and speaking with one of the children, the child disclosed that she was alleged being fed dog feces,” said Delaware County undersheriff Tracy Shaw. “This is definitely an extreme case of child neglect, one of the worst that I’ve seen.”
The affidavit went to state one of the children “had pin worms in her stool as well” and indicated she “gets spanked for hitting and laughing.”
Moore was arrested at her home, which is located in a secluded and rural area about five miles from the town of Jay.
“This is just beyond anything I could ever even think about, because here… it seems everybody kind of knows each other,” said nearby resident Jefferson Miles.
Shaw told News 4 that Moore was in denial when she was first brought in for questioning. According to court documents, she claimed she did not want the kids hospitalized at the time because she had a meeting DHS the next day.
“Mary said they (DHS) hospitalized her kids over losing half a pound,” the affidavit reads.
Investigators also said Moore claimed she “had been dealing with DHS” since her daughter was a year old but “did not have an issue with DHS at all until I got with my husband.”
According to Shaw, DHS has received “many complaints” against Moore in the past related to child neglect and malnourishment issues; however, this is the first case that has been brought to the attention of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
“As the investigator got around to the actual allegations, she became very upset and walked out of the interview,” Shaw said. “If somebody had not reported this, the hospital records and the child abuse expert that examined them in Tulsa stated that they would probably be dead.”
Moore remains in custody on a $100,000 bond.