• The 15-year-old boy died in a hospital in 2020
  • An investigation into the boy's case was conducted
  • Investigation revealed that his parents had neglected him
  • Jennifer Keim and Justin M. Keim were arrested

An Illinois mother and stepfather have been arrested in connection with the death of their 15-year-old severely disabled son who died of malnutrition in 2020.

The police arrested the 34-year-old Jennifer Keim of Moline on charges of first-degree murder Monday. Justin M. Keim, the boy's 32-year-old stepfather, was arrested Tuesday on charges of criminal abuse or neglect of a disabled person.

The arrests came after a four-month criminal investigation conducted by the Moline Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, a news release said.

On Nov. 3, 2020, Moline police got a report of a severely disabled boy in an "extremely dehydrated and emaciated" state who had been transported to a hospital. The hospital staff informed the police that the boy also had severe open wounds that had not been properly treated.

The boy, whose identity has not been revealed, went into cardiopulmonary arrest and was pronounced dead later at the hospital.

The investigators evaluated the boy's medical records and past medical treatments. They also conducted numerous interviews with medical professionals, reported news outlet Our Quad Cities.

Investigation revealed that the couple had followed "a consistent pattern of medical and physical neglect" that had led to the boy's death. The autopsy report ruled that the boy's death had been a result of complications due to chronic malnutrition and dehydration because of underlying physical neglect.

Justin and Jennifer have been held on $500,000 and $2 million bonds, respectively. The couple has been booked into Rock Island County Jail.

The hospital staff informed the police that the teen boy also had severe open wounds that had not been properly treated. pixabay

In a similar incident in January, a Canadian couple was arrested on charges of child neglect after their 27-year-old physically disabled son had been found malnourished and unresponsive. Cops arrested 52-year-old Jonathan Grunewald and 47-year-old Malinda Philips, reported news outlet CTV News. Investigation revealed that the victim suffered a medical condition and was completely dependent on his parents for all his basic needs. According to Staff Sgt. Vincent Hancott, it is believed that the couple failed to provide the son necessary care, which eventually put his life in danger.