Couple starves 9-year-old son to death after making him live in feces-filled room

Couple Pleads Guilty in Death of Mentally Disabled Son
Couple Pleads Guilty in Death of Mentally Disabled Son

A Harrisburg couple pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and child endangerment Monday morning after allegedly starving their 9-year-old son to death.

Jarrod and Kimberly Tutko also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and child endangerment charges involving their 10-year-old daughter. In addition. Jarrod pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse and concealing the death of a child.

According the prosecutors, the couple kept Jarrod Tutko Jr. locked in a feces-filled room. The boy's room reportedly did not have a bed or any lights. After the boy was found dead, an autopsy found that he weighed less than 17 pounds. The cause of his death was malnutrition and neglect.

The young boy suffered from Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes developmental issues. These issues can include learning disabilities and cognitive impairment.

According to charging documents, on the night of Jarrod Jr.'s death back in 2014, Jarrod Sr. found his son's corpse - two days after he last checked on the young boy - but didn't tell his wife about the death for three days. She allegedly didn't realize her son had died until she smelled the corpse.

In addition, a grand jury found that the couple neglected their daughter, 10-year-old Arianna Tutko. On the night her brother's body was found by authorities, Arianna was reportedly found "very close to death." A Penn State Hershey Medical Center pediatrician said that the young girl suffered from a severe brain injury. The girl's eyes were matted shut from dirt, she had thick scales all over her body and she clearly had not bathed in an extremely long time.

Arianna and her four surviving siblings have since been placed into foster care.

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Originally published