The parents of a Washington teen who died from starvation could soon face murder charges.
Police in Vancouver, Washington, issued arrest warrants for Felicia Adams, 52, and Jesse Franks, 56, on charges of second-degree murder and homicide by abuse in the death of their adopted son, who died in November 2020. The Oregonian reported the issuing of the warrants.
At the time of their child's death,15-year-old Karreon Walker-Franks weighed only 65 pounds.
Police reportedly learned of the troubling circumstances surrounding his death in November when his body was taken to a funeral home whose staff reported “concerns with his appearance.”
The Clark County medical examiner’s office ruled Karreon’s death a homicide after an autopsy showed he had abnormal bone and hair growth and lesions most likely caused by starvation, according to reports.
A state worker reportedly visited the home of the day after receiving the report to check on the boy and his two younger brothers, according to the Associative Press.
Investigators allege Adams and Franks went to the ilani Casino Resort hours after Karreon died and spent “hundreds of hours gambling over the past four years.”
“The records indicate that Adams and Franks both had substantial gambling habits,” Detective Zachary Ripp of the Vancouver Police Department wrote in court documents obtained by KOIN-TV 8 News.
“I later received video surveillance of Felicia Adams and Jesse Franks at ilani Casino, which showed that Felicia Adams arrived at ilani Casino approximately three hours after Karreon died to play slots.”
Franks reportedly had autism and was developmentally disabled, incontinent, non-verbal and partially blind, according to court documents.
The teen's teachers reportedly told investigators that Karreon often came to school soiled and in dirty clothes and was “very food-motivated.”
Records allege Adams routinely refused to feed the boy and ordered his teachers not to feed him, according to OregonLive.com.
Adams’ sister Letricia Brown reportedly told child welfare authorities Adams had “withheld food from the children for years and that the teen previously collapsed from malnourishment.”
Frank’s brothers reportedly said their guardians physically abused them, spanking them with various objects, including a paddle “until it broke” and an extension cord, which caused one of the boys to bleed.