Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2011

De Soto woman accused of keeping son in attic faces attempted second-degree murder charge

Specialist says boy was 24 hours from death

February 22, 2011


Rachel Perez, 26, of De Soto, is facing charges of child abuse and aggravated child endangerment after Johnson County sheriff's deputies found her malnourished, 6 year-old son confined in the attic of her home on the 8200 block of Center Drive.

Rachel Perez, 26, of De Soto, is facing charges of child abuse and aggravated child endangerment after Johnson County sheriff's deputies found her malnourished, 6 year-old son confined in the attic of her home on the 8200 block of Center Drive.

— A woman accused of locking her young son in the attic of her De Soto home will stand trial on charges of child abuse and attempted second-degree murder.

On Tuesday, Johnson County District Judge Peter Ruddick ordered Rachel Perez, 27, to also stand trial on a third charge, aggravated child endangerment.

Perez was charged last August after Johnson County sheriff’s deputies discovered her then 6-year-old son confined to the attic. Prosecutors said the 20-pound boy, who has Down syndrome, was severely malnourished and covered in fecal matter.

Dr. Lisa Spector, a specialist in child abuse cases, was among doctors who cared for the boy when he arrived at Children’s Mercy Hospital on Aug. 17.

“Given the condition (the child) was in when he was brought to the hospital, he was nonambulatory and had little to no muscle tissue remaining. I don’t think he would have lived another 24 hours,” Spector testified on Tuesday.

Spector also said it would have taken weeks to months of improper nourishment for a child to reach that state of malnourishment. She reported that the boy is recovering well.

In video interviews that were played in court, the boy’s sisters, ages 8 and 5, indicate the boy was confined, off and on, for several months, if not years.

The boy’s younger sister said her brother had been in the attic for two years. She also said Perez often left all three children home alone for hours at a time, while she went out with friends or visited her boyfriend.

“My mom stopped giving [my brother] food a long time ago but I don’t know why,” the girl said. “He would just cry and cry and I felt sad for him.”

The other sister said her brother’s cries were one reason their mother left the boy home alone and in the attic.

“She said he was too annoying and he kept crying and screaming,” she said. “So she left him in the house when we would go out, she kept him away from people.”

Perez’s boyfriend, Jose Acosta, said he had only seen the boy a handful of times.

“I’ve known Rachel about a year and I’ve regularly spent time with [her daughters] but I’ve only seen [her son] maybe two or three times,” Acosta testified. “She always told me he was with his father or other relatives.”

Perez will return to court March 18 for arraignment.


BruceWayne 6 years, 9 months ago

This headline would lead one to think the child had passed. The word "attempted" should be added to the headline.

wmathews 6 years, 9 months ago

I got that fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

horseshoehalo1 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree. I read the article to make sure I wasnt missing something.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 9 months ago

I hope this woman gets solitary confinement without dinner.... at least until she's malnourished and practically dead...

seriouscat 6 years, 9 months ago

Bad headline which leads people to think the boy died.

sr80 6 years, 9 months ago

why do you think criminals are sentenced to life instead of death,the suffering is the bad part,death brings about relief !!! i hope the child recovers from this horrendous ordeal. i don't mean to sound callous but maybe that should of been the end !!

imastinker 6 years, 9 months ago

If the woman is sane enough to go to trial, maybe she should be charged with something that involves the death penalty!

ralphralph 6 years, 9 months ago

Result of a no-strings-attached social welfare state.

firefighter88 6 years, 9 months ago

No, it just practices the "dont ask dont tell" theory. They stay out of it until the child is almost dead. So they do not create sociopaths, but they sure enable them.

sr80 6 years, 9 months ago

what is the first part in "path",is it "socio" ie.....society. take a look at ourselves !!!!

ToteAlongShaker 6 years, 9 months ago

i worked in CPS for years. people think of them as either "baby snatchers" or not trying hard enough. if she didn't want CPS looking through her house, much less attic, she didn't have to. no one does. CPS can't force people to let them in their house, LE can't even do that without a warrant. this is the result of the mother's actions - we don't need to go around pointing at others.

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

This is actually why social welfare systems were formed. To catch the monsters and protect the kids. Getting a check in the mail didn't cause this woman. When the neighbors call or one of the kids, if a social worker doesn't answer the phone and go check, the cost is in tiny bones. Get off the hate cart, stand up , at least visit a site for information on what works to reduce child abuse. What did you do to save this child?

sr80 6 years, 9 months ago

its not why its her fault, it is why on earth did she think to do it like this,i can't possibly phantom the thought processes going on here.simply amazing!!!!!! where are all the shrinks at???no pay nothing to say?!?!

Sf Boggsz 6 years, 9 months ago

Why wouldn't her kids (8&5) have said something to their grandparents, school teachers or neighbors? To do nothing for a sibling is irresponsible, regardless of their ages. Where was their compassion for their brother?

The only reason that I can think of is their mother had to have "de-humanized" the poor child to the extent the children didn't think of him as their brother. Terrible story in our back yard. You never know what goes on behind those neighborhood doors.

costello 6 years, 9 months ago

My recollection is that it was a relative (grandmother?) who brought police attention to this. She no doubt saved the child's life, because the police questioned the mom and left after she said the boy was with his father or something. The grandmother insisted they return and look for the boy.

Here's the story:

fan4kufootball 6 years, 9 months ago

She evidently knew right from wrong. Therefore - no excuse.

PrettyTony 6 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

QuinnSutore 6 years, 9 months ago

Just another welfare mom punching out kids to collect a bigger check. Just what the libs vote for year after year after year, enabling society's least savory and giving them incentives to abuse the system. And then when someone gets caught doing something like this, they're a criminal... yet they used the system exactly as it was intended: punch out more kids, get more money.

Cody Ochs 6 years, 9 months ago

It does not mention anything about her being on public aid in this story (nor is this mentioned in the linked story).

Christine Davisson 6 years, 9 months ago

Horrible generalization. I was a "welfare mom" at one point. I have one son (no punching out of kids). Which by the way children are created by a man and a woman. I am now no longer a "welfare mom", have finished school and found an excellent career. All with the help of the welfare system. I believe the system is a good one, there are however people who choose to abuse it. Blame the people, not the system. Otherwise you just seem ignorant.

Jimo 6 years, 9 months ago


Smells like excrement in here.

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 9 months ago

A similar situation happened to two of my cousins. Our family, teachers, neighbors, and countless others reported the abuse and SRS did nothing because they "wanted to keep the family together." The children were out of school most of one year because of untreated lice and SRS still did nothing. Eventually, my grandma fought and won custody of them, but the damage was done. I tend to be on the "liberal" side, but I have very little respect for SRS. That's not to say it doesn't ever do anything good, but there are so many stories like this. Hearing about the little boy crying makes me cry.

jmm35 6 years, 9 months ago

This is another case where the old standard of "eye for an eye" needs to be used. Lock her in an attic in August, with no food or water. Jail (even for life) is not enough punishment for people who abuse children.

somedude20 6 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

conservative 6 years, 9 months ago

Sad to say this is exactly what I've come to expect of the lj world. Typos and misleading headlines.

california 6 years, 9 months ago

Conservative, please quit reading the LJW then. I'm sure you are perfect in your profession (if you have one)! They corrected the headline. I figure you complain about most things. Right?

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 9 months ago

And for the record, the woman was a registered bout them apples QuinnSutore.

sr80 6 years, 9 months ago

Finally they have caught them red handed,how many more attics and basements do these republicans have filled with the rejects of society!!!! Lord have mercy on the poor republican soul!!! oh yeah !!! only liberals have souls, how foolish of me!!!!

greenworld 6 years, 9 months ago

Im thinking death penalty for this lady. She is one SICK individual.

Richard Payton 6 years, 9 months ago

Similar to the Nancy Grace story that aired last night about a girl confined to a 4 foot by 5 foot area in the bathroom. She lived that way since 3 years old and was an honor student in her class.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 9 months ago

I will say the bad news..."attempted second-degree murder" charge might be tough to prove. Sure did not sound like her lawyer was going to plead out unless that charge was removed.

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