PD: Malnourished boy's mom arrested for child abuse

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Sierra Pitt By Jennifer Thomas Sierra Pitt By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- A 22-year-old Mesa woman whose 2-year-old daughter was found dead in August has been arrested on a child abuse charge related to her 14-month-old son.

Sierra Pitt called 911 on Aug. 25 to report that her daughter was unconscious and not breathing. The child was pronounced dead at the family's mobile home, which did not have a working air conditioner. Police said it was extremely hot inside.

Pitt's son, who was also in the home, was transported to a hospital. According to court documents, the medical staff said he was severely dehydrated and malnourished, had scabies on his head and neck, and bruising on his legs and back.

Hospital staff said the boy's appearance indicated a period of medical, physical and nutritional neglect and this, along with the hot conditions, "created an unsafe situation for the victim and placed him in a position of serious physical harm or possibly even death," according to the documents.

Police searched Pitt's home and reportedly found papers explaining the adoption process and pictures of families seeking children to adopt.

Police later learned that Pitt had contacted a family friend about adopting both of the children earlier in the month. The friend told police that Pitt had said she didn't want the children anymore and never wanted kids in the first place.

Police interviewed Pitt again on Tuesday and said she acknowledged neglecting her son and placing him in a situation where his health was endangered. She was arrested on one count of child abuse.

A judge set Pitt's bond at $35,000.

Mesa's homicide unit is investigating the death case.