A Texas woman has been charged after her adult disabled son died malnourished, dehydrated and infested with lice, court records show.
Munoz called police May 27 to report finding her 21-year-old son dead, the Fox affiliate reported. An arrest affidavit in the case stated that responding officers found Joshua Munoz’s head was infested with lice and his body was so thin, they could see his bones through his skin.
Joshua Munoz, who had cerebral palsy and another brain defect, schizencephaly, weighed just 38 pounds when he died, Telemundo said. According to the National Institutes of Health, schizencephaly is a rare birth defect in which abnormal slits or clefts form in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.
Symptoms can include developmental delays, seizures and brain-spinal cord communication problems.
Telemundo reported that a medical evaluation of Joshua Munoz found that he was “deeply disabled” and needed help with “every aspect of his daily life, including mobility, eating, grooming and elimination, without the ability to function independently.”
Joshua Munoz’s autopsy found that he died of severe malnutrition and dehydration, and his death was ruled a homicide, the affidavit said.
Fox San Antonio reported that Joshua Munoz was the recipient of food stamps and medical benefits from the state. His mother was the payee for those benefits.
Alma Munoz told investigators that she was her son’s sole caregiver.
The investigation found that Alma Munoz had not taken her son to a doctor or an occupational therapist in three years, the news station reported.
KSAT in San Antonio reported that Alma Munoz also told investigators she knew her son had lice, but did nothing to treat the condition.
It was not clear Tuesday if Alma Munoz would face additional charges in her son’s death.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.