Isaac Bartholomew was found dead in his home when paramedics arrived after receiving a frantic call from his mother. The 18-month-old-boy was described as being "stiff as a board" when his mother, Adrienne, called 911. His death led authorities to investigate the family and discover that all of his siblings were also malnourished.
"He's stiff as a board. He's got medical issues; he's disabled. He's a disabled baby, and I don't know what happened. Oh please, God help us. We have disabled children," Adrienne told a 911 dispatcher.
By the time the paramedics arrived, Isaac was already gone. An autopsy showed that the infant was "extremely malnourished and dehydrated," Chief Deputy Jared Oliver told The Morning Journal.
Five of the seven Bartholomew children "suffer from various severe physical and mental handicaps that require around-the-clock care," Adrienne told authorities. Baby Isaac had severe acid reflux, heart murmurs, and gastrointestinal issues that required him to be fed through a tube.
"There was an extraordinary amount of medical supplies about the room, all of which, according to Adrienne, are used in the day-to-day care of Isaac and his brothers," one deputy reported.
Isaac's four brothers have been hospitalized for unknown reasons, though Oliver said, "Malnourishment is one of the overarching problems for all four of them. There was a 6-year-old that weighs 23 pounds. We are definitely concerned with the malnourishment."
Even though Adrienne has not been charged with child neglect or anything else, Oliver promised that once the investigation is complete, authorities would "confer with the prosecutor's office."
The news of the Bartholomew children's possible neglect comes on the same day as that of a father who passed out and left his three children completely naked, with one wandering about outside in 40 degree temperatures, one locked in a dog crate, and another inside the house.
The girls were all taken into custody of the state and their father has been charged with child neglect. He will stand before a judge later this month to learn his fate.