New Jersey’s child-welfare agency fired nine employees this week after police found four adopted boys starving in a home repeatedly praised by caseworkers. An officer discovered the oldest boy, a 19-year-old weighing 45 pounds, scavenging for food in a neighbor’s garbage. Investigators then found three others, ages 9, 10, and 14, who had been locked out of the kitchen and fed nothing but uncooked pancake batter, peanut butter and jelly, and cereal. Their adoptive parents, Vanessa and Raymond Jackson, allegedly fed several adopted girls and their two biological children a normal diet. The Jacksons’ relatives said the boys’ health problems stemmed from old eating disorders and drug addictions, but police arrested the couple on charges of aggravated assault and child endangerment.
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