Ariz. Boy, 6, Allegedly Locked in Closet, Killed by Parents and Grandma, Weighed 18 lbs. at Death

by San Eli News


The Arizona 6-year-old found dead last March weighed just 18 lbs. when he died — approximately the weight of a 1-year-old.

Deshaun Martinez was found unresponsive in the family’s Flagstaff apartment in early March. He later died at the hospital.

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According to the recently-released autopsy report obtained by the Arizona Daily Sun, the coroner determined that Deshaun died of starvation. The manner of death is listed as a homicide.

Last March, Authorities arrested the boy’s parents, Elizabeth Archibeque and Anthony Martinez, and his grandmother, Ann Martinez. All three have been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse.

Arrest records obtained by Fox 10 News allege Deshaun and his 7-year-old brother were kept in a closet for about 16 hours a day. Authorities responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call in March about an unresponsive child. That’s when they found Dehsaun lying on the floor. His brother was still in the closet.

RELATED: Arizona Parents and Grandma Charged with Murder After 6-Year-Old Kept in Closet Dies

The parents allegedly told police that the boys would steal food at night. The boys’ parents allegedly told authorities that Deshaun’s malnourishment was due to a medical condition, and also claimed he had stolen diet pills.

According to the Associated Press, the boy allegedly had abrasions and bruises on his body, but those injuries were not life-threatening.

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The newly released autopsy report details Deshaun’s medical history, which allegedly showed that he had historically had trouble gaining weight. He had been hospitalized as a newborn after suffering from sepsis and a urinary tract infection that caused him to vomit after every feeding. After remaining in the hospital for 10 days, he was discharged, and his parents were advised on how to improve Deshaun’s nutrition.

According to the autopsy, Deshaun was 34 lbs. at age 4, but weighed only 18 lbs. when he died.

The arrest records allege Elizabeth Archibeque told officers that Deshaun did not gain weight, despite being “fed a lot.” Anthony Martinez allegedly told police that they were on a budget and would have bought better food for Deshaun after receiving their next food stamps.

PEOPLE confirms that all three defendants have pleaded not guilty and are being held on $3 million bond. Court records do not reflect attorneys authorized to speak on their behalf, but indicate that they will be represented by a public defender. Fox 10 reports that the public defender’s office has not yet assigned an attorney to the cases.

Prosecutors have until late July to decide whether they will seek capital punishment in the case.