Alabama parents charged after extremely malnourished 6-year-old found dead

Published 4:56 pm Thursday, June 15, 2023

An Alabama mother and father have been charged after their 6-year-old child died. Police said the child appeared seriously malnourished and weighed only 21 pounds, less than half of an average child of that age.

Parents Mark Edward Watford and Kelly West Watford have been charged in the death of their child after police were called to an address in Auburn after someone expressed concern over the child’s welfare.

Officials found the 6-year-old boy not breathing. Despite life-saving efforts, the child was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that day.

The child’s mother has been charged with felony murder and was held without bond.

Mark Watford, the father, was charged with aggravated child abuse. He was being held on $30,000 bond.

Police investigators said they believe the child may have drowned, but that the state of the child’s body also indicated intentional malnourishment and mistreatment.