INDIANAPOLIS—An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the 2017 starvation death of her 2-month-old daughter.
Coroners determined Ruth Ringer died last Aug. 21 from malnutrition and dehydration. Police officers had found the child in full rigor mortis in the couple’s home.
Court records say 28-year-old Janet Ringer was sentenced Tuesday, April 16, after pleading guilty to one count of neglect.
Ringer and the baby’s father, William Moss, were charged last year with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Department of Child Services faced scrutiny after the child’s death, which occurred hours after four child welfare workers visited the infant’s home.
Four state child welfare workers had visited the home hours before Ruth died, and at least one of them expressed concern about the child’s well-being but didn’t report it to authorities.
The Indiana State Personnel Department said family case manager Marianne Teixeira received a five-day suspension for failure to follow policy.
Moss is scheduled for trial in May.
Janet Ringer was sentenced to 7 years for starving her 2-month-old daughter to death. Just hours before the baby died, 4 DCS workers visited; one of them expressed concern, but didn’t report it to authorities. https://t.co/KiziPBWkqU pic.twitter.com/Pfs11nHl6R
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) April 17, 2019
An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused.
Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.
How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so officials can investigate and assess the situation. Most states have a number to call to report abuse or neglect.
To find out where to call, consult the State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers website.
The Childhelp organization can also provide crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. Contact them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
“Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children),” according to Childhelp.