Doctors take stand in Longview criminal mistreatment case - KPTV - FOX 12

Doctors take stand in Longview criminal mistreatment case

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KELSO, WA (KPTV) -

The trial of two Cowlitz County parents accused of mistreating their five adopted children continued Wednesday, with more doctors taking the stand.

Jeffrey and Rebecca Trebilcock face assault and criminal mistreatment charges.

A radiologist testified Wednesday that the boy had five rib fractures, which were in various stages of healing, when the child neglect investigation began in March 2011.

Authorities began investigating the family when Rebecca Trebilcock brought her then 13-year-old son to a Longview clinic. Investigators have said the boy weighed 49 pounds, the size of a much younger child, at the time. He has put on a significant amount of weight and grown several inches in the last year.

Three of their children testified against their parents this week, alleging they put up makeshift alarms to keep them from accessing food and beat them with boards if they misbehaved.

The children have said they ate dog food and toothpaste because they were so hungry.

The defense has said the boy's small size is due, in part, to fetal alcohol syndrome and other illnesses.

The radiologist testified fetal alcohol syndrome would not show up on an x-ray. She also said the x-rays showed no medical condition, like rickets, that may have affected bone growth.

Investigators said that while the boy was treated worse than his four adopted sisters, the girls were also malnourished.

Pediatrician Kenneth Wu, who examined the girls after they were taken from the Trebilcock home, said the girls had low body mass indexes. One in particular was very skinny.

"The first thing we do is feed them and improve input and if that helps, (it's) likely input was a problem causing low weight gain," he said. "In their cases, with adequate intake, they did gain weight pretty well."

During cross-examination, the defense suggested the vegetarian diet fed to the girls may be behind their sizes.

Emily Haukaas, who tutored some of the children, testified about an incident in which the now 14-year-old boy was very upset during their tutoring session. When following written prompts to discuss his feelings, he wrote, "I hope I do not make daddy mad when he comes home from work" and "He yells at me and makes me do things I don't want to do."

Haukaas also recalled seeing the children with snacks of fruit, vegetables or uncooked oatmeal and said she never thought the children seemed like they weren't being fed.

The prosecution will continue calling witnesses Thursday.

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