Emaciated Wyoming boy, four, is found weighing just 18lbs after ‘being starved nearly to death by mother in house full of food’

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Written By Maya Cantina

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  • Tanya Hannon, 24, also known as Tanya Earl, was charged with one count of  aggravated child abuse on claims she starved her child 
  • The youngster’s weight was so low, it was equivalent to an 8-month-old baby
  • On Friday Big Horn District Court elevated her case to felony-level;  she faces up to 25 years in prison and $10,000 in fines

A four-year-old Wyoming boy was found emaciated and weighing just 18 pounds after his mother allegedly nearly starved him to death.

The unnamed youngster’s weight was so low, it was equivalent to an eight-month-old baby and his health was in such dire condition he suffered brain damage. 

The boy’s mother, Tanya Hannon, 24, also known as Tanya Earl, was charged with one count of aggravated child abuse on claims she starved her child. 

On Friday Big Horn District Court elevated her case to a felony-level. She faces up to 25 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, Cowboy State Daily reported. 

Tanya Hannon, 24, also known as Tanya Earl, was charged with one count of aggravated child abuse, on claims she starved her child. The mother of five is pictured with four of her children

Tanya Hannon pictured with her boyfriend, Ty Myers

Tanya Hannon pictured with her boyfriend, Ty Myers

The depraved mother is pictured holding a baby, her fifth child as her boyfriend looks on

The depraved mother is pictured holding a baby, her fifth child as her boyfriend looks on

On February 15, Hannon found her son unresponsive, and contacted her mother. The mother and daughter, took the child to the emergency room at Three Rivers Hospital in Basin, Wyoming, as per an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.

Hannon told the Greybull police that her son had tripped on a toy that day.

The boy was was placed in the pediatric intensive care unit because he was reportedly in critical condition.

According to an affidavit, the young boy’s lips and hands were colorless, he didn’t react to pain and his eyes were fixed and dilated.

He was also unable to clear his own throat, in which food had lodged, and it was reported that he had to be intubated.

The boy’s mother told the hospital that her son started losing weight about two months earlier but she didn’t seek help for him, according to the court document.

The child was close to death and had to be life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Medical personnel treated gave the boy medications and electrolytes. He was also put on ventilators since he was unable to breathe on his own.

Dr. Margaret Russell, child abuse pediatric fellow at Primary Children’s Hospital, spoke to Greybull Police Chief Kenneth Blosser, and disputed the Hannon’s claims that her son tripped on a toy.

She told the police chief that the child could not have been active enough to do that.

She reported that the youngster suffered from shock, dangerously high levels of sodium, extremely low oxygen levels, and acute kidney injury. 

Russell also noted that his body also was emaciated and he had ‘pressure sores’ on his back, shoulder blades and bottom, which indicated that he was unable to move from a lying position.

She said the child had hair loss, brain volume loss, fluid build-up in the brain and an electrolyte imbalance threatening his vital organs, as per the news outlet.

Based on her analysis, she suspected that the little boy was starved, and that it most likely went on for weeks or months, as per the documents.

When police executed a search warrant at Hannon's home on February 27th, they allegedly found methamphetamine pipes and residue, and a 'tooter' straw, in the couple's home

When police executed a search warrant at Hannon’s home on February 27th, they allegedly found methamphetamine pipes and residue, and a ‘tooter’ straw, in the couple’s home 

Kristy Michaels, a case worker with the Wyoming Department of Family Services told the police chief that Hannon has four other children, including a newborn.

Hannon told another case worker in Salt Lake City that she was a ‘stay-at-home mom.’ 

According to Michaels, she reportedly found no medical records for Hannon’s other children.

The police chief, probation agent Bradley Lee, and Michaels went to Hannon’s home to investigate, and learned that Hannon shares a home with her boyfriend Ty Myers.

During the search, Hannon’s other children were at their maternal grandparents’ home, where the children remained during the investigation, officials said.

On February 16, child protective authorities in Salt Lake City determined that the child had suffered severe child abuse, and the police chief was called. 

Hannon’s father told the police chief, on February 21, that he had not seen his grandson in about a month, prior to the incident. 

He recalled, the boy looking ‘a little Ethiopian,’ and said, he ‘ate up a storm,’ at his house. At the time, he also told his daughter to take the child to the doctor, as per the news outlet.

On February 23, Hannon was reported to have disappeared from the hospital.

Four days later, on February 27, when police executed a search warrant at Hannon’s home, they allegedly found methamphetamine pipes and residue, and a ‘tooter’ straw.

 On March 1, Hannon was in police custody, as per court documents.

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