Nation

Mother of boy who starved to death is charged with murder

Jessica Lee Jensen’s son Aidan Edward Bossingham was 13 years old and weighed only 21 pounds.
Ward County Sheriff’s Office/AP
Jessica Lee Jensen’s son Aidan Edward Bossingham was 13 years old and weighed only 21 pounds.

BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota woman whose 13-year-old son weighed 21 pounds when he died in January has been charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday.

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

Aidan Edward Bossingham’s weight was about the same as that of a young toddler when he died. His mother told investigators that Aidan had a hormonal growth problem and that his pituitary gland did not function properly, according to court documents.

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Jensen, 35, of Kenmare, in northern North Dakota near the Canadian border, said her son would eat and then throw up. She said he had not seen a doctor for several years, the documents say.

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She also has been charged with neglect for allegedly failing to provide proper care for her two other children — a 14-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter.

The investigation began the night of Jan. 12 when authorities received a call from Jessica Jensen who, according to court documents, told the dispatcher her son had ‘‘passed on.’’

Kenmare police officer Jason Cartier arrived at the family’s house and reported that Jensen was sitting on a couch with a small child in her arms and told him, ‘‘He’s dead.’’

A nurse practitioner at Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital reported that the child looked to be 2 or 3 years old, the documents say.

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Jensen told investigators that she could not recall the last time the boy had seen a doctor.

Associated Press