Fontanet, INDIANA (IndyStar) - The caregiver of a 9-year-old who died weighing less than 15 pounds was sentenced to 36 ½ years after being found guilty on criminal counts of neglect.
The Tribune-Star reports that 54-year-old Robin Kraemer, Fontanet, was convicted of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony that carries a sentencing range of 20 to 40 years, in addition to two other felony neglect charges.
The boy, Cameron Hoopingarner, was pronounced dead in February after being rushed to hospital. He was found to be "extremely malnourished" and weighed just 14.8 pounds, according to court documents.
Kraemer had cared for the child, who was born blind and had cerebral palsy, after his birth parents declined to care for him, according to the Tribune-Star. After Kraemer's daughter died in 2015, and later her mother in 2016, she said she became overwhelmed with her responsibilities. She admitted to smoking meth the day Hoopingarner died.
Police reported finding adult food in Kraemer's home, but not formula, supplements or special nutrition that Hoopingarner would have needed. Difficulties in chewing and swallowing foods can sometimes affect the nutritional intake of people with cerebral palsy, leading to the possibility of malnutrition.
"It was a small child which appeared skeletal, a skeleton with skin stretched over it," Vigo County Sheriff's Department Detective Jason Fischer reportedly said. "I really struggle to explain how that looked."
Kraemer's husband, Hubert; her adult son, Chad; and his girlfriend, Sarah Travioli, are also facing charges. The three also lived in the Vigo County home where Hoopingarner was cared for.
Their trials are scheduled for early next year.