CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An 8-year-old child found dead in a Braxton County home on Wednesday might have been dead for several weeks, State Police said.
On Thursday, Valarie Lee Brown, 39, of Sutton, was charged with child neglect resulting in death after State Police Trooper G.H. Jones accompanied a hospice care worker to Brown's home to try to get inside. State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said hospice workers had tried to visit the child on several occasions but been denied entry.
Once they got inside, they found 8-year-old Levi Burroughs dead and wrapped in a blanket. His body was partially decomposed, police said.
Baylous said the boy's body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's office to determine the cause and approximate time of death, but he said the body appeared to have been in the home from several days to several weeks when found.
"It appears to us that he was probably there for an extended period of time," Baylous said.
Baylous said Burroughs was terminally ill with Hurler syndrome. The degenerative disease is characterized by degeneration of the body's organs and progressive mental retardation, and many victims die by the age of 10.
Baylous said Brown had denied the boy medical care, the justification for the child neglect charge.