4 charged in Stone County, Mo. after child found suffering from extreme malnutrition, living in crate

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 10:11 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 6:10 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Stone County, Mo. deputies arrested four in a month-long investigation involving a child suffering from extreme malnutrition.

Dessa A. Barton, 26, W. Dalton McLendon, 26, Kathreine Kost, 56, and Richard A Hilliker, 52, face charges of endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

Investigators received a 911 call on November 6 about the child unresponsive in a Billings home. Emergency crews transported the four-year-old child to a Springfield hospital, then airlifted him to a Kansas City hospital. Medical personnel advised detectives the child suffered various injuries consistent with physical abuse. They said the boy also suffered from extreme malnutrition.

Detectives say the boy spent extended periods of time in a wooden crate constructed of pallets.

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