A Chambersburg woman is facing charges after a 16-year-old boy in her care was found to be severely malnourished, to the point where the boy weighed only 26 pounds. 41-year-old Elisabet Estrada is now facing aggravated assault and child endangerment charges.
According to authorities, on October 24, 2019, police received an investigation request from Franklin County Children and Youth Services regarding the 16-year-old. The boy had been admitted to Hershey Medical Center due to extreme undernourishment. The affidavit of probable cause stated the teen weighed 26 pounds at the time of admittance to the hospital.
To put that number in perspective, according to CDC, a 16-year-old boy’s weight should range from 103 to 195 pounds depending on their height, ranging from 5 feet, 3 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches. Court documents described the victim as gaunt with ribs extremely evident and “ravenously hungry.” The boy was said to be emaciated and laid in bed in a fetal position in a way that appeared he couldn’t stretch out.
The affidavit reads that police made contact with Estrada, who had custody of the victim. She had called the Genetics testing personnel a Hershey Medical Center stating her son “has no medical issues that require hospitalization.” After questioning, Estrada said the teenager was born in December 2002 and weighed 6 pounds. By January 2005, at the age of 3, the child weighed approximately 22 pounds.
Court documents stated the next medical care the victim received was in January 2019, where Estrada took the victim to a walk-in clinic where he weighed 25 pounds at that time. In February 2019, the boy was then taken to Keystone Pediatrics and weighed 34 pounds. Following that, he was then seen at Hershey Medical Center in April 2019 where he weighed 29.76 pounds. He was once again admitted in October 2019 due to extreme undernourishment where he weighed 26 pounds and remained under care until December 23. He weighed 45 pounds at the time of his discharge.
Medical experts at Penn State Hershey Medical Center finally advised on January 13 that in their “medical opinion,” the 16-year-old condition was due to medical neglect and malnutrition. Due to the victim’s age and being in Estrada’s primary care, she was deemed to be the source of the boy’s medical issues. Estrada was booked into Franklin County jail on $25,000 bail.