Missouri couple charged with starving their six-week-old baby to death after he died weighing a pound lesser than when he was born

Kanaan's parents, Phillip Thomas Leon Compton and Jessica Alice Cook, have been charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death


                            Missouri couple charged with starving their six-week-old baby to death after he died weighing a pound lesser than when he was born

A six-week-old baby was found weighing over a pound lesser than when he was born and starved to death, leading to the arrest of his parents.

According to court records, emergency medical services found little Kanaan Compton in a malnourished state when they responded to his home in Crystal City in February. Phillip Thomas Leon Compton, 31, and Jessica Alice Cook, 33, his parents, have now been charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death, Daily Mail reports.

Phillip Thomas Leon Compton was charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death after his 6sixweek-old son, Kanaan Compton, died of malnutrition, according to police. (Jefferson County Jail)
Phillip Thomas Leon Compton was charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death after his 6sixweek-old son, Kanaan Compton, died of malnutrition, according to police. (Jefferson County Jail)

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, the baby weighed more than six pounds after his birth last Christmas and died weighing just five pounds six weeks later. Fox 2 Now reported that paramedics received reports of a baby having difficulty breathing before they responded to the residence, according to court documents. Although little Kanaan was rushed to Mercy Jefferson Hospital in Festus, he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

During an interrogation, 31-year-old Compton told investigators that "he thought the child was fine, due to him and Ms. Cook both being very skinny" and "thought his wife was feeding him". However, the father later admitted that the baby hadn't had a bowel movement in over five days, according to reports.

Jessica Alice Cook was also charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death after her six-week-old son, Kanaan Compton, died of malnutrition. (Jefferson County Jail)
Jessica Alice Cook was also charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death after her six-week-old son, Kanaan Compton, died of malnutrition. (Jefferson County Jail)

According to cops, Compton thought his partner was taking care of the infant after his mother contacted him to say Kanaan appeared unusually thin and needed to see a doctor as soon as possible. The first-time dad allegedly "called Ms. Cook in multiple times to check on the child rather than getting out of bed" on the morning Kanaan died, the police report states. "After being woken by Ms. Cook who was scared for the child, Compton went into the bathroom before checking on the condition of the child," it adds.

In a conversation with The St. Louis Dispatch, Lenny Kagan, the lawyer representing Compton, said, "He worked full time and was only assuming his wife was feeding his child. He is a first-time parent and a good guy. His life has been turned upside down. It's a 100 percent tragic accident. Phillip is devastated. The family is devastated."

According to authorities, the couple canceled multiple appointments with doctors citing reasons such as bad weather, no way of getting there, or by simply forgetting about the fixtures. Meanwhile, Cook, the mother, told police her baby would sleep a lot and she wouldn't be able to feed him. It was later found during an autopsy that little Kanaan died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration.