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Young parents arrested after staving 7-month-old twin girls to save money

By Mason White 12:54 PM May 22, 2014
Gene Edwards and Markisha Jones 

By: Anika Rao
A young child is dead and her twin sister was hospitalized after they were starved by their parents.

19-year-old Markisha Jones, and 22-year-old Gene Edwards of Chicago, Illinois, should have been celebrating the first birthday of their twin daughters, Mia and Mya. Instead, they are in jail.

Mia celebrated her first birthday in foster care after spending months in a hospital, where she was nursed back from near death.

Her twin sister Mya, was not so lucky as she did not live long enough to have her first birthday.

After the twin girls were born they spent much of their time in a basement where they shared a crib. They wasted away while starving for nutrition and care, according to prosecutors in Cook County.

Five months after the birth, the parents stopped feeding the babies formula. Instead, they mixed baby cereal with water causing the babies to go hungry.

One day, Edwards noticed Mya was not breathing and called paramedics, who tried to revive the baby. The baby was only 7 months old and was undernourished.

Mya was pronounced dead at the house and Mia was rushed to a hospital. The Department of Children and Families subsequently took custody of Mia. She is now in a foster home.

The parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse after an investigation by the office of the Cook County Medical Examiner concluded that the death of Mya was of malnutrition caused by starvation.

The parents are being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 each.