SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The parents charged with neglect in the death of their 13-year-old son, who suffered from a neurological disorder, were released from jail over the weekend after posting bond.
A circuit judge released a 31-year-old Kimberly Marie Love and 29-year-old Jason Monroe Buckley on $20,000 bonds. They were charged with murder last month after Joshua Jacob Mendoza was found dead in his Summerville home on Feb. 10.
While the Dorchester County Coroner's Office says severe malnutrition and neglect led to the boy's avoidable death, the teen's family says Love and Buckley are being falsely accused.
Mendoza suffered from a neurological disorder called tuberous sclerosis. He weighed 48 pounds when he died.
Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet said that a forensic pathologist conducted the autopsy and a forensic anthropologist investigated Mendoza's skeletal structure to determine the extent of the malnourishment.
"In some cases malnutrition is very mild and causes no symptoms," Coroner Chris Nisbet said in a statement released in February. "In this case however, it was so severe that it led to a child's death."
"Although the child was diagnosed just after birth with tuberous sclerosis, with proper medical attention and medical care a person can live a long happy life with this condition," Nisbet said. "Unfortunately, this was not the case with Joshua."
According to Nisbet, the forensic pathologist determined the extent of the abuse to be "ongoing and extensive."
"This child was neglected for years and it's devastating to know that this is going on in our community," Nisbet said.