40-pound 11-year-old taken to hospital
Police are investigating the underweight child's parents
Police have opened an assault investigation after an 11-year-old girl was found malnourished and severely underweight at her apartment Sunday.
At 1:48 p.m., Emergency Medical Services received a call for a girl needing immediate medical attention, police said.
The girl was transported from her apartment at 809 Kinau St. to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, EMS spokesman Bryan Cheplic said.
She remained in critical condition as of yesterday afternoon, said a nursing supervisor at the hospital.
The girl was malnourished and was "severely" underweight, although the nursing supervisor could not give specifics. TV reports said her weight is about 35 to 40 pounds.
Child Protective Services spokesman Derek Dahilig said the girl is now under state custody.
Police are investigating the girl's parents. No arrests have been made. Both parents are 33, according to police.
Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu declined to release specifics on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
"All I can say is that the case remains classified as an assault case, but it could be reclassified in the future based on newer information," Yu said.
The girl's father is Melvin Wright Jr., said her grandfather, Melvin Wright Sr., from his South Carolina residence.
The elder Wright said he knew nothing of the case except that the girl was found malnourished. He declined further comment last night.
Based on court documents, Wright Jr. and his wife, Denise, were charged in 2000 with endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree, which is considered a misdemeanor.
Denise Wright pleaded guilty and was granted a one-year deferral of her plea despite the state's objection. Wright Jr. pleaded no contest and also was granted a one-year deferral.
Several conditions were imposed for their deferral of their pleas that included undergoing parenting classes. It is unknown whether the girl who was removed from the apartment is the same child.
In general, a healthy 11-year-old girl, with no growth or genetic defects, would weigh in about 65 to 75 pounds, depending on her height, said Dr. Christine Hara, a pediatrician of 20 years.
"A girl with 35 to 40 pounds would actually be the size of a really small 3-and-a-half or 4-year-old," Hara said. "That's severely small, unless there's something wrong with her."
Star-Bulletin reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.