Couple Arrested, Autistic Son Severely Malnourished

By Melissa Garcia

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A husband and wife were arrested after their teenage son was so malnourished that he nearly died, according to court documents.

David Hall, 52, and his wife Vanessa, also 52, we’re taken into custody Tuesday evening on felony child abuse and neglect charges.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The 17-year-old victim, who is reportedly blind and autistic, weighed only 88-pounds when he arrived at Children’s Hospital after losing consciousness in the shower.

Doctors said that the boy had bed sores, kidney failure, pneumonia, a compromised immune system, and was lacking essential vitamins, among other ailments.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the teen had been living in neglectful conditions for months if not years.

One physician said that the boy’s physical condition was consistent with that of a holocaust survivor.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Longmont Police Department executed a search warrant on the Hall’s mobile home, and conducted a week-long investigation leading up to the arrests.

“We’re human as well, and it’s tough to investigate a case like this even as a police officer,” said Sgt. Matthew Cage, a detective with the Longmont Police Department.

Law enforcement had been alerted to the issue after an investigation by Boulder County Health and Human Services.

Investigators conducting interviews with David and Vanessa Hall said that the couple believed that their son’s condition was caused by a recent bout with the flu, having thin relatives, and being a “picky eater.”

The Halls' home (credit: CBS)

The Halls’ home (credit: CBS)

According to police, the teen had not been to a doctor, dentist, or formal schooling in at least eight years since the family moved to Longmont from Georgia.

Human services took the child into temporary custody.

Bud Burrows, a neighbor who lives next door to the Halls, was shocked at their arrests and said that he had never observed any sign of neglect.

“Every time I’ve dealt with them, they’ve been really good parents,” Burrows said.

David Hall made his first appearance in court on Wednesday. A judge set his bond at $50,000. He was due for his next hearing, a filing of charges, on Friday.

Vanessa Hall outside of court on Wednesday (credit: CBS)

Vanessa Hall outside of court on Wednesday (credit: CBS)

Vanessa Hall bonded out of jail Tuesday on a $100,000 bond. She is due in court for an advisement of charges on Sept. 20.

She declined to comment at her husband’s initial hearing on Wednesday.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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