An Oklahoma woman who starved her children and made them eat dog feces will avoid prison after pleading no contest to charges connected to the crime.
Mary Elizabeth Moore's 5-year-old and 3-year-old children were hospitalized in the intensive care unit and were "so malnourished that hospital staff had to place them on a special diet and applied nasal feeding tubes to both children," according to court documents obtained by KTLA sister station KFOR.
Investigators say the 5-year-old weighed just 26 pounds, while the 3-year-old weighed 18 pounds, according to the Oklahoma City television station.
"While DHS was at the hospital and speaking with one of the children, the child disclosed that she was allegedly 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 on to say one of the children "had pinworms in her stool as well" and indicated she "gets spanked for hitting and laughing."
According to court documents, Moore was in denial about the extent of the neglect. At the time, she claimed she didn't want them hospitalized because she had a meeting with the department of human services the next day.
Shaw said that while DHS had received "many complaints" about Moore in the past, this was the first time the sheriff's office was alerted to the case.
"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 was ultimately charged with two counts of child neglect.
Last week, Moore pleaded no contest to the charges and was given a suspended seven-year sentence. According to online court records, Moore has been ordered to not have contact with the victims.