DE SOTO, Kansas - Rachel Perez, 26, is charged with aggravated endangerment and child abuse. She was arrested Tuesday. Two of her children are now in state custody.
The other, 6-year-old Giovanni, is being nursed back to health at Children’s Mercy after he was found malnourished Tuesday in a hot attic .
The grandparents and great-grandparents of the children have hired a lawyer to fight for the custody of all three.
Attorney Sarah Swain is acting as a spokesperson for the family.
She says the family’s access to little Giovanni was cut off three months ago. They weren't allowed in his De Soto home.
The question remains: How long did he spend in the hot attic?
Family members want answers now.
Giovanni continues eat through a feeding tube, too weak to eat on his own.
Swain explains how his great-grandmother describes his condition “I should imagine what a concentration camp survivor looked like in terms of what he looked like when he came into the hospital.”
She continues, “He was not a child who was underweight, from what I've been told, this is a severely malnourished child.”
Thanks to a noise Giovanni made in the attic late Tuesday, authorities were able to locate him in the attic.
Swain says the family is so thankful for his second chance at life, “Every hour he's getting better and stronger, talking and he has a play telephone and he's yammering away on that. She feels good that he's on the road to recovery.”
Now, the family points a finger of blame at the state of Kansas. According to Swain, they filed two reports with the SRS against his mother.
Friday, a representative with the SRS confirmed receiving at least one report from the family.
However, Swain says during the investigation, Giovanni’s mother told authorities he was staying with his father. That's where the search ended.
She questions the effort of the state, “Had SRS pushed a little harder and gone a little further into intervening in this situation, they would have never ended up with a 20 pound, 6-year-old boy left in an attic to starve to death.”
The grandparents plan to fight for the custody of all three children.
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Kansas Neighborhood News