Abused McAlester Boy Weighed Only 29 Pounds, Prosecutors Say

Monday, December 23rd 2019, 8:45 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

Pittsburg County prosecutors said a five-year-old victim had been beaten, kicked, hit with a belt and only weighed 29 pounds in their latest case of abuse.

The DA's office tells said this is the worst child abuse case they've seen. 

"When I was first informed that this five-year-old weighs less than my two-year-old daughter, that really struck me and the egregiousness of this case - it needs to be brought to justice," said Assistant District Attorney Michon Hughes.

Prosecutors said the woman who was arrested for this abuse is Paula Chrisholm, the child's aunt. She is charged with four felony counts of child abuse and neglect. To protect the child's identity, we are referring to him as K.C.

Prosecutors said a team effort took weeks of investigating. They said a team of child specialists with the child advocacy center, law enforcement, teachers, and counselors all worked on the case.  

The affidavit states K.C. looked like a 75-year-old man with thinning hair, bruises all over his body, a purple ear that had been pinched and twisted, and he walked with a limp from a sore caused by being hit with a metal buckle of a belt.

"He just seemed like an elderly man. That’s the best way I can describe it," said Jessica Gilliam, the director of the Pittsburgh County Child Advocacy Center.

"They could hardly walk. I never saw him happy. He wasn't smiling when he got here. You could tell that there was fear and it just broke my heart," said Gilliam.

Chuck Sullivan, The Pittsburgh County district attorney, said he wants this story to be a lesson to report child abuse when you see it.

"That’s my big takeaway. Speak up, let the authorities tell you it's nothing. Don't make that assumption, if there's any questions speak up," said Sullivan.

The boy and his sister are safe. The Child Advocacy Center tells said that there has been a rising trend of child abuse in Pittsburg County and that cases have almost doubled.