CENTRALIA, Wash. — Police are asking for the public’s help tracking down a Washington state couple after authorities found a 16-year-old weighing just 54 pounds last year.
Both 45-year-old Anthony Foxworth and 42-year-old Mary Foxworth are on the run after pleading guilty to a criminal mistreatment charge in Lewis County Superior Court in October. On Wednesday, they failed to show for their sentencing hearing and a no-bail bench warrant was issued for their arrests.
When authorities found the child, he didn’t know how to read or write and hadn’t been attending school, according to KCPQ. The 16-year-old had also never been taught to use a toilet. Two other children living in the home showed no signs of neglect, police said.
“What people don’t know is that there were three kids in this family, all biological children and the other two were totally fine,” said Centralia Police Department Detective Corey Butcher. “They did have some signs later on that they were starting to head down the same road that the victim was but their health and appearance was completely different than the 16-year-old.”
Law enforcement first learned of the child’s condition when the Foxworths sought medical help in January, 2016, telling doctors the boy hadn’t eaten in three weeks, according to court documents. He was eventually taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for treatment.
Doctors found that the boy was unable to talk and couldn’t open his mouth far enough for a throat examination. He had multiple bald spots, was unable to stand on his own, had 24 teeth needing dental work and the skeletal age of a 13-year-old, among multiple other medical issues. Doctors initially thought he was between 8 and 10 years old.
Over a year later, the boy is doing much better under the care of a foster family.
“So far to date, he’s gained over 90 pounds (and) grown about 4 inches,” Butcher said. “He’s finally in school (and) he’s just doing awesome … totally different kid.”
While he’s recovering physically, police say he’s also struggling to deal with what he’s lived through.
“He is starting to understand what happened to him which is the worst part of all,” Butcher said.
Anthony and Mary Foxworth were last seen in Grand Mound, Washington at a gas station with their green and silver 1998 Chevrolet Suburban (WA license DP25339). They are also associated to a black 1999 Toyota 4Runner (WA license ASK0996).
“Obviously, we’d like to find these people,” Butcher said. “We’ve got information that they have family in multiple states, everywhere from Georgia to Louisiana, California, Oregon and Idaho.”
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Centralia Police Department detective bureau at 360-330-7614 or call 911.