Parents Face Cruelty Charges After Teen Dies

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Video report by Mike Krafcik, Fox CT

Text by Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant

NORWICH — The parents of a teen who died last year after becoming gravely ill have been charged with cruelty to persons.

Julie L. Carlos and Mark S. Carlos, both 59, also were charged with risk of injury to a minor, police said. They were released on a promise to appear in Superior Court Friday after their arrests earlier in the day, said Det. Damon Wallace, the lead investigator.

According to police, officers, medics and firefighters went to the family’s house on Dunham Street shortly after 6 a.m. May 2, 2013 after receiving a 911 call about a sick 14-year-old.

They found four juveniles — the 14-year-old, a 16-year-old son, a 10-year-old daughter and a daughter a few years younger — who all appeared thin and not properly cared for, police said. The children were unkempt, Wallace said, with messy hair and disheveled clothes.

The teenaged boys were so sick they were transported to the William W. Backus Hospital for treatment of symptoms of pneumonia. The 14-year-old, Justin Carlos, was airlifted to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, where he died later that day, police said.

The 16-year-old was admitted to Backus, where he was treated and eventually released.

The three juveniles were placed in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families, police said. In addition, to the children, a 22-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter lived in the small house, Wallace said.

He said the children were home-schooled and the family lived like shut-ins, never leaving the house.

Justin Carlos died of pneumonia, sepsis and malnutrition, Wallace said.

His death was ruled a homicide, he said, but the state’s attorneys felt it would be too difficult to prosecute a charge like manslaughter or negligent homicide.

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