Halifax, Pennsylvania, residents Joshua and Brandi Weyant seemed to be a kind and helpful couple to those who lived nearby.
Brandi would share food with others, and Joshua took pains to try and tidy their yard.
But that facade shattered like hammer-struck glass when police and social workers visited the residence on December 16, 2016.
It was their children’s repeated absence from school that eventually prompted government intervention.
One of the first things they noticed was that the yard was no longer clean.
Unused toys laid piled here and there, a sign that something wasn’t right. But that was only the start of the horror.
Once they gained access to the house, they found three children in a locked room in such an advanced state of malnutrition that their lives were in peril.
Two of the kids were so starved that their bones were visible through their skin, and one of those didn’t have enough fat in her core to keep her internal organs in place.
“I knew [Joshua had] been through some rough times, but he seemed like a good man, or at least that’s the way he portrayed himself,” one neighbor said.
Why did all this happen? Apparently, Joshua had simply decided he didn’t want the children anymore, and Brandi went along with it.
“They certainly had the financial means,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle told The Patriot-News. “The other rooms in the house had plenty of food.
“They were not living like paupers. There were animals in the house that were well taken care of and fed.”
Interviews with the couple hardly shed any more light. Joshua told authorities “that he didn’t want the children overfed.”
Brandi blamed her husband while maintaining that none of the kids were her or Joshua’s biological offspring despite sharing their last name.
But a poignant Facebook post on Brandi’s account dated September 6, 2016, and showing a picture of a young girl read, “She will NEVER have to wonder her worth because UNLIKE you I”M gonna put her FIRST!!!!”
Police estimate that this was around the time that the Weyant’s abuse may have began.
Though terrible beyond reckoning, this story has at least one bright spot in it: the children were immediately removed from the home and taken to the hospital and foster homes for proper care.
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