REYNOLDSVILLE — A couple face felony child endangerment charges after their four children were taken away from them for neglect and failure to keep doctor appointments.
Dubois based state police filed charges against Shelisha Louise Stewart, 28, of Reynoldsville including three felony counts of endangering the welfare of children.
Police filed these same charges against John James Bowley, 28, of Reynoldsville.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a baby was diagnosed with failure to thrive due to improper feeding and two other children did not receive proper dental care resulting in required surgery.
In July 2019, the baby was diagnosed with failure to thrive, and was taken from the home in January 2020 due to concern that he was being underfed. The child weighed 13 pounds 1 ounce at six-months of age. Steward and Bowley had also reportedly rescheduled 12 appointments for the baby, and did not keep nine of them. Three other children were removed from the home three days later for alleged medical neglect.
The baby reportedly was born with congenital issues and was going to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, but the parents had missed several appointments, and attempts to contact Stewart had failed.
It was recommended he be admitted to Children’s Emergency Room for failure to thrive. Children and Youth services were called when he did not arrive. After five days, he was discharged and a nurse conducted home weight checks. The baby was allegedly slowly gaining weight at first, but then began losing weight in September 2019. When questioned, Stewart reportedly told the nurse the baby had not been fed in 12 hours.
The baby was removed and put into foster care, and began gaining weight consistently. The baby’s doctor noted Stewart was allegedly detached and uninterested during appointments. The baby also wouldn’t interact or smile during the appointments. According to the doctor, now that he is in foster care, he is acting much more like a 6-month-old should.
When police interviewed Stewart about the baby, she allegedly told police he was gaining weight in foster care because they were feeding him baby food, and she was told not to until she talked to his plastic surgeon.
The three other children are also in foster care now. Two of these children had to be sedated to undergo extensive dental surgery. The children’s grandmother told police she would regularly pick the children up and take them overnight, and both Bowley and Stewart would be sleeping when she picked up and dropped them off.
Both Stewart and Bowley have preliminary hearings scheduled for July 23 with Magisterial Judge David Inzana.