PORTLAND, Ind. (TCD) -- A 27-year-old woman was arrested on murder and other charges after her 5-year-old son was found dead and severely malnourished.
According a statement, Portland Police responded to a call March 24, at 11:30 p.m. on the 600 block of South Western Avenue regarding an unresponsive 5-year-old child, who was pronounced dead. Portland Police reportedly called in Indiana State Police to assist with the investigation.
WXIN-TV, which cites court documents, reports the boy's mom and suspect, Chelsea Crossland, reportedly starved the boy and withheld food for him "days at a time." She allegedly previously told the boy's father that she wished the little boy was dead.
According to WXIN, the victim, Christian Crossland, had bruises and other injuries on his face. The coroner reportedly determined his cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and oral cavity, WXIN reports. The autopsy also showed he was very malnourished and emaciated. He was reportedly found only wearing a diaper amid filthy conditions.
Christian's sister reportedly told investigators Crossland "spanked and choked" the little boy as punishment, and that when Christian died, Crossland spoke about disposing of his body rather than calling for help.
Citing court documents, WANE-TV reports Christian's autopsy showed he was so malnourished that he "failed to thrive."
In addition to murder, court records show Crossland was also charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and child molesting where the defendant is at least 21 years of age. Police reportedly learned during the investigation that Crossland allegedly molested a 9-year-old girl starting when the girl was 7 years old.
WANE reports the girl who was molested lived with Crossland, but their relationship was not immediately clear.