HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A court hearing revealed Wednesday that a Madison County baby, who was found dead inside her home earlier this year, was “malnourished” and covered in bed sores.
11-month-old Arianna Foster was found dead inside her family’s trailer home in the 400 block of Ready Section Road in Hazel Green on Sept. 29.
The baby’s parents, Joshua Foster, 28, and Porsha Bole, 31, are charged with aggravated child abuse. They told investigators they found the infant unresponsive inside her bassinet. Bole told deputies on scene she attempted CPR on the kitchen floor, but ultimately the baby passed away. Foster told his wife, Bole, “she was gone.”
[READ MORE: Parents arrested in infant’s death investigation]
Testimony uncovered it was Arianna’s paternal grandparents who encouraged the couple to call police.
Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit said this case isn’t easy, but is important.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Most of the time, even with injuries to children, somebody either snaps or premediated something like this. To almost willfully go in day by day and watch your child waste away is just thankfully a novel thing,” Douthit said.
The lead investigator testified she believed Arianna to be highly malnourished, as the 11-month-old was frail with small arms and legs. She said it looked like the infant “had not eaten in weeks.”
Bailey said the infant was “very frail and had a swollen belly.” Bole attributed the marks to a headband that helped her sleep, and explained the infants swollen belly as constipation. Bailey said the four head sores, two on each side of her head, were open and oozing on the morning she passed away.
An official autopsy report has not been released. Although, in conversation with the medical examiner, Bailey said it is likely the child starved to death. Bole told investigators the day before the infant died, she was in normal health and that she ate every day.
Bailey says the child only gained 1 pound while she lived, dying at a weight of 10 pounds. The medical examiner told Bailey she believes the “child probably never left her bassinet” in the 11 months she lived.
Bole and Foster have two other children, toddlers who were “well taken care of,” Bailey testified. The toddlers have been placed in foster care.
It was revealed in Foster’s preliminary hearing that Arianna and her mother never received prenatal care and that the 11-month-old had not seen a doctor since she left the hospital after birth. It was also revealed that the toddlers also had no medical records to show.
Prosecutors said they aren’t sure why the parents were taking care of the two children but not the infant. Bailey said she found food and formula in the home. Also adding the home was “not dirty.”
Bailey testified that Bole had been visiting a methadone clinic for 3 years and took her children along. Methadone is a prescription drug that’s designed to help people kick opioid addiction.
“Dad said he works to provide for the family, and it’s up to mom to take the child to the doctor,” Bailey testified.
Foster told investigators if he could do it all again differently, he would.
The child’s paternal grandparents had not seen the infant in two weeks prior to her death, Bailey testified. They say when they last saw her she ‘looked normal.’
Both parents are held in Madison County jail with bail set at $60,000.
Judge Patricia Dunn Demos denied a bond reduction request from Foster’s attorney. Defense attorney Norman Bradley, Jr. said in court his family “did not have the means” to pay the bond.
“He told the detectives when they were investigating this case that I am the man, I make the money; caring for children is not my problem. If he is so concerned with making money that he can’t take care of his kids, it’s comical now that suddenly he says he doesn’t make enough money and that [he] wants a lower bond,” Douthit said.
Foster’s case will be presented to a grand jury who will consider indictments. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.