Two charged in alleged starvation of child

A Castleton couple is being held in the Rappahannock Jail on charges of child abuse, after at least one of them allegedly attempted to starve their two-month-old baby to death. Sheriff Connie C. Smith said yesterday (June 13) that the mother also had been charged with attempted capital murder; further information was not available from the sheriff’s office.

The woman, Brenda Lyons-Lenchick, was due to be arraigned on the attempted murder charge this morning, according to General District Court documents.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed with the Rappahannock County Circuit Court Clerk on May 30, the home of Joseph Lenchick Jr. and Brenda Lyons-Lenchick was searched for evidence that an attempt was made to starve and bury their son, who was born with a cleft lip and palate on March 16. Another search of the home was reportedly made June 6 by investigators from the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police.

On May 17, Sheriff’s Capt. J.C. Welch began an investigation of child abuse and neglect, following a report a day earlier from a child protective services worker for the Rappahannock County Department of Social Services (DSS), the search warrant affidavit states. Welch was provided with a packet of medical information and photographs of the child taken by the DSS worker that day.

The investigation revealed the infant weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces at birth, and was seen six times between March 20 and April 13 by a pediatrician, who noted that the baby’s weight was decreasing, the affidavit said. Fortified formula was prescribed, according to the affidavit, and the child began to gain weight appropriately.

After two missed pediatric checkups, the affidavit states, the infant was weighed at the Rappahannock County Health Department and was found to weigh 6 pounds 12 ounces. On May 11, after a call was made to the parents, the pediatrician examined the child and found it to be “severely malnourished.” The infant was admitted to University of Virginia Medical Center, where pediatricians found he was gaining weight when fed properly, and concluded that his failure to thrive was “due to his parents’ neglect to either properly feed, or feed . . . at all.”

The search warrant affidavit goes on to say that Brenda Lyons-Lenchick told investigator Welch that her husband recently lost his job, and that it had become “too much for her” to drive her husband to job interviews and meetings with his probation officer, attend her own anger management classes and probation meetings, clean the house and take care of the children. Lyons-Lenchick told Welch, the affidavit says, that she gave up on herself as well as the baby, and admitted trying to kill her baby by starving him to death.

After three weeks, the affadavit goes on, during which she planned how to bury the child in Pennsylvania beside her father’s grave, Lyons-Lenchick said she changed her mind after the pediatrician called May 10, taking him back to the doctor to be examined. The document states that Joseph Lenchick told investigators he had “no idea” about his wife’s alleged starvation of the baby, and that they did not return to the pediatrician because he had lost his job. He said the couple also had a 3-year-old daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy, according to the document, and had also stopped taking their daughter to the pediatrician after losing his job.

12 Comments

  1. Im so sick of people saying guilty guilty bury them alive!!! U people make me sick!!! To the state of virgina and social services not to contact family in pa to come & get these kids what the hell is that???

  2. Had they filed for government help? Were they feeding their three year old? Didn’t say it was starving her! Just the little one. All I’m saying is: It was on purpose!!! SHE ADMITTED TO STARVING THE LITTLE CHILD!!! Disability is hard but come on!!! No excuse!

  3. In the paragraph i just wrote at the bottom i meant i wouldnt lisen to the to doctor or the news paper

  4. Thank you Mary there should be more help !…… The parents in the world that have kids with disabilities need more help people make mistake every now and then…. everyone does except Mr. & Mrs. lenchick ARE NOT GUILTY these are parents that where sent to jail for a simple little mistake for not holding a bottle correctly . I know people make that mistake every now and then when they have kids like Kaleb. I also believe that you cant always believe or lisen to a doctor because they tell you the wrong things and the parents think its the right thing so they do it… but the parents later on get the blame for do what the doctor told them to do rather its not right like the doctor gave the kid like Kaleb a formula that is for reducing weight and tells the parent to give the child it to feed on and the parent does think of it at the time and then they give it to the child and the child starts to loseweight fast you dont know it cuz your with that child all day everyday and then one day you go and thake the child to the hospital and and they send you to UVA and they say that everything is fine and they keep tyhe child there and then next thing you know they take the kids away because the doctor told you to and you lisen and then you end up with the attempted murcder charge and no kids and in jail because of a doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if i was everyone i would believe what the doctor said or what the news paper said and for yall that believe what the reports say in the news paper!… not all of it is true they turn ur words around and say that you say this instead that is what you didnt say and they do that to make thing interesting so that they can put it in front of the paper fo get good money so for the people that thinks they are Gulity you will see when it happens to you and see what you have to say because then you will have that taste of what you gave them when you not gulity and your in there for nothing and see how you like it…….NOW LETS SEE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY NOW HATERS and thank you for the ones that understand the whats really going on

  5. What a devastating situation that family found itself in. Frankly, I’m surprised that not more cases like this are found, given what stresses there are to families and communities.
    There should absolutely be more help available to parents raising disabled children-wherever it comes from-government, church, charity, family and friends. As hard as it is to keep ourselves together, we have to help others also.

  6. Commenters: Although we would never publish it or share it, we ask you for your email address when you comment on this website — which, unlike a lot of websites, is actually connected to a real community and is an extension of a actual local weekly newspaper which has an office and actual employees and phones and everything.

    Why do we ask you for your email address? So we can let you know when your comment is too profane or libelous or just too stupid to get published, so maybe you (I’m talking to the last person who tried to comment on this thread) can try again to make your point without having to cuss and say the kind of things we say to people who pull out in front of us on the highway without looking.

    But — and this is the important part — if you enter a fake email address with your comment, your comment just goes straight to the trash.

    Roger

  7. You all have got to be kidding me that you are trying to say that they are good parents…..Really people…. She “admitted” to starving the kids. What is it you do not understand???? I don’t think anyone is judging she admitted to it.

  8. BEFORE YOU JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER READ IT FIRST.They are good parents to the kids its not their fault the state of Virginia DOESNT know how to investigate…So dont judge unless you know what’s going one.

  9. Thank you for some people having half a brain to tell the truth. There are two sides to every story. Lyons nor Lenchick would have ever hurt those kids. This is a case of every parents nightmare. Haveing a child with a disability is very hard to adapt to. All parents need support in how to take care of a child that is not (normal).Shame on you people that think they have all the answers…

  10. Theres 2 sides 2 every story. All u people are reading what is published in the paper & what the police have to say. The state of virginias legal system is so messed up its unbelivable!!!! So maybe people shouldnt say things when they have no clue what the hell is going on!

  11. The both of youll should be bury alive not one child but two children but how great is the system is as the state was proabley paying for all of the doctors appts and they could not take the time to thake the kids to the doctors ,I say they need to b made an example of and get life in prision with 1 meal a day Water and bread .

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