Ten-year-old locked in bedroom, starved and tossed out like trash. Stepmother faces life sentence.

Ten-year-old Johnathan Ramsey’s relatives were not allowed to see him. He was locked in a bedroom and put on what his father and stepmother called “military rations” — a diet of bread, water and, sometimes, milk.

In the last months of his life, the Dallas boy slowly withered from 90 pounds to 60 pounds. He became so hungry, police say he ate his feces.

His stepmother told investigators his health “slowly deteriorated and described him as looking like one of those kids you see on commercials from Africa,” the Dallas Morning News reported. She described him “as being really thin and explained that he was unable to walk at times due to loss of strength.”

It finally ended in 2011. His father found him on the bedroom floor, foam spilling from his nose and mouth. The couple reportedly bathed him, dressed him in his favorite T-shirt and slipped him into a blue sleeping bag. His father threw in a dryer sheet to mask the stench and put the body in a storm shelter next door before ultimately dumping it in a rural area near Dallas.

Police later found the body in a creek bed.

A Dallas County jury on Tuesday found his stepmother, Elizabeth Ramsey, 33, guilty of intentional serious injury to a child. She faces life imprisonment.

Aaron Ramsey, her husband and the boy’s father, was sentenced to life in prison last year.

“Aaron Ramsey is a monster, but the one thing that defense counsel continues to leave out is that his wife, Elizabeth Ramsey, is also a monster,” prosecutor Jason Fine told jurors this week. “Those two monsters came together and they take a sweet little boy, their son … and they lock him behind this door, put him on that deflated, dirty mattress and starve him to death.”

Aaron Ramsey told investigators that prior to the punishment, his son had become increasingly violent and punched his stepmother in the stomach while she was allegedly pregnant with triplets, causing her to miscarry. He said he hit the boy in the chest and locked him in a bedroom — until the end.

Jurors in Elizabeth Ramsey’s trial heard testimony that Ramsey was not pregnant after all, the Associated Press reported.

Ultimately, it was Johnathan’s grandfather who asked police to help.

Edward Ramsey, Aaron’s father, called police and asked them to check on his grandson, who he had not heard from him since January 2011. He told police that Aaron and Elizabeth gave him a number of reasons why he couldn’t visit.

“He kept putting us off, kept putting us off,” Ramsey told WFAA-TV. “Johnathan always had something else going on. … I told him [Aaron Ramsey] I was tired of the waiting and delays. I wanted to see my grandson.”

Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever



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