Friday, October 29, 2010

Alabama parents charged with starving their toddler with Down syndrome to death


GARDENDALE, Ala. -- A Gardendale mother and father were arrested Oct. 26 and charged in connection with their toddler's death. The little boy, who had Down syndrome, died in April.

Since then, Gardendale Police have been investigating.

The parents, Jeffery and Rebecca Stockton, were indicted by a grand jury Oct. 26 for starving their child to death.

They were arrested on charges of manslaughter and taken to the Jefferson County Jail. They were held on bonds of $30,000 each.

Authorities say in April, 16-month-old Justin Stockton died from severe malnutrition. And a month later, 8 children were taken from the home and placed in DHR custody.

Authorities and the district attorney wrapped up an investigation into the child's death two months ago, which has now led to the parents indictments and arrests.

FOX6 spoke to a woman who knows the Stocktons, but didn't want to be identified.

She says hearing the arrests for manslaughter of their 16-month old little boy was disturbing.

She says they lived a different lifestyle and had an unusual way of raising their children.

"There have been lots of events and things that have happened over the years that were not normal," said the woman. "The family is very strange."