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Abusive mom charged in starvation murder of 13-year-old son

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Jessica Lee Jensen, 35, of Kenmare, N.D. appeared in a North Dakota courtroom on March 24 where she was charged with the starvation murder of her 13-year-old son, Aidan Edward Bossingham, who was said to have weighed only 21 pounds at the time of his death in January.

ABC News reported that:

State Medical Examiner William Massello says Jessica Jensen's son died from chronic starvation due to untreated juvenile appetite disorder. He listed the manner of death as homicide.

Jenson reportedly informed police during their investigation that her son “had a hormonal growth problem,” and that the teen hadn’t been to see a doctor in years.

She was arrested last week.

“Due to the age of the child, it’s extremely tragic,” said Capt. Bob Barnard of the Ward County Sheriff’s Office, per The Grand Forks Herald.

Jensen was also charged with felony “abuse or neglect of a child,” in connection with her two other children, ages seven and 14. Court papers stated that Jensen “failed to provide proper education for the children and a bedroom in their home.” Jensen’s family home was also reported to have been “littered with garbage and smelled of feces.”

Those two kids are now staying with relatives, according to police.

The stories surrounding all of her children sound like they were written for a made for TV horror movie.

On Jan. 12, Jensen dialed 911 to say that her son had died.

Police arrived at her home shortly afterwards and noticed that rigor mortis had already begun to set in, meaning the teen had been dead for some time.

Officials at Kenmare Community Hospital reported that the 13-year-old boy looked to be only two or three years of age.

Although diagnosed with human growth hormone deficiency and prescribed hormone treatments in 2006, the mom stopped his treatments and stopped taking him to the doctor beginning in 2008. At his last doctor’s appointment, a chart note indicated, “very poor growth because of lack of treatment.”

Jensen said she stopped taking the boy to see the doctor as she believed she could solve his health problems on her own, according to court records.

Autopsy results showed that the child’s body weighed 21 pounds and his stomach was empty. Dr. Massello said the conditions he identified were medically treatable, according to the court affidavit.

The boy’s biological father is deceased. His stepdad, Charles Jensen, has been separated from the boy’s mother since the summer of 2013.

Jensen had been home-schooling her three children since 2009. There was one shelf in the home dedicated to instructional materials, “primarily elementary level workbooks.”

Jensen’s seven-year-old daughter was incapable of spelling her name for an interviewer, and wasn't sure of her age.

Investigators who searched Jensen’s home found it to be dirty and cluttered, with an upstairs bedroom littered with garbage and smelling of feces.

A few relatives interviewed by police said that when they tried to talk to Jensen about her son’s medical condition, that she stopped letting them see any of the kids.

Jensen’s bond was set at $250,000 cash and her next court appearance set for May 1.

If convicted on the homicide, abuse and neglect charges, she could be sent to prison for life.

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