Crime & Safety

Emaciated 6-year-old boy dies under suspicious circumstances; mother claims she applied a cream to his chest, but evidence reveals she wasn’t telling the whole story

A heart-wrenching incident has exposed a chilling case of child neglect and abuse that led to the tragic death of a 6-year-old boy. As investigations unfold, the severity of the child’s maltreatment has shocked the community and professionals alike. Authorities have apprehended the parents, who are now facing grave charges related to the incident.

Two parents were taken into custody following allegations of abuse and neglect, resulting in the tragic death of their 6-year-old son, Sulivan. Authorities have charged Kelly W., 47, with one count of felony murder; she is currently held without bond. Her spouse, Mark W., 52, is facing one count of aggravated child abuse and has been released after posting a $30,000 bond. The couple previously had seven children.

On June 14, first responders, including officers from the police department and local medical teams, responded to an emergency call reporting a child in distress at a residence. Upon their arrival, they found Sulivan unresponsive. Despite immediate and subsequent medical interventions at the hospital, Sulivan was declared dead.

Subsequent investigations revealed that the child, weighing a mere 21 pounds at his passing, met his end under suspicious circumstances. The release from the APD mentioned evidence suggesting drowning as the cause of death. Additionally, it highlighted Sulivan’s extreme malnourishment and signs of extended deliberate abuse.

During a recent hearing termed Aniah’s Law, which empowers judges to withhold bond from those accused of violent crimes, disturbing information about Sulivan’s condition was shared. Judge Russell B. berated Kelly, saying that photographs of her emaciated son taken immediately after his death were “like nothing he has ever seen outside of Holocaust documentaries.”

It was brought to light that Kelly, a licensed professional counselor formerly associated with the Department of Mental Health, might have never sought pediatric care for Sulivan. Post-tragic incident, she purportedly informed authorities that she applied a vapor rub to Sulivan for the first time, suspecting a consequent allergic reaction when he became unresponsive during a bath. However, autopsy results indicated signs consistent with drowning.

Prosecutors also suggested that due to Sulivan’s frailty, he might have been unable to walk or even sit independently. Three individuals testified on Kelly’s behalf, but all were deeply distressed upon viewing images of the deceased child. Judge Russell, after the hearing, refrained from deciding on Kelly Watford’s bond and mentioned that a decision would be forthcoming in the near future.

Raymond Simpson

Raymond Simpson is a California native, a longtime Coral Springs resident, and the Editor at TSFD. He lives with his family in Coral Springs, where you can find him on weekends running – literally running – with his two golden retrievers.

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