A disabled 9-year-old boy who died of starvation Tuesday had not been taken to a doctor in more than a year, court records show.
And, the rural house where the child lived had “a very small amount of food” for the child, investigators report.
In an interview following the death of Cameron R. Hoopingarner, guardian Robin L. Kraemer told police the disabled child did not have a current doctor. The boy had been sick with flu for several days, she said, so she treated the boy with over-the-counter cough medicine and melatonin to help him sleep.
Robin Kraemer, 53, her husband Hubert Kraemer, 56, and two other adults living in the same home as the child have all been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony.
The Kramers, along with Chad Kraemer, 33, and Sarah Travioli, 30, will make initial court appearances today at 1:30 p.m. In Vigo Superior Court 6.
Cameron Hoopingarner was blind and had cerebral palsy, Robin Kraemer told Detective Jason Fischer of the Vigo County Sheriff's Department.
Fischer interviewed Kraemer at Union Hospital, where the child died, and also at her home north of Fontanet. Kraemer told Fischer the child's previous doctor had referred the boy to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Kraemer said she and her husband Hubert, also a guardian of the boy, had taken him to the hospital a few days later. However, the child had not been to any doctor for more than a year, she said.
A probable cause affidavit states Fischer spoke to Hubert Kraemer, who confirmed that he and Robin had taken the child to Indianapolis for care in the past, but the child had not been to a doctor for a year.
Robin Kraemer said she and her husband tried to take the child to their own family physician recently when the boy became sick, but the doctor declined to see the child. She said the doctor refused to see the boy because the doctor was not a pediatrician and did not specialize in neurology.
Detective Fischer said that in examining the child's body at the hospital, he saw the boy appeared to be “extremely malnourished to the point that his bones were readily visible.”
A nurse stated that the boy weighed 14.8 pounds and was 36 inches long.
“His skin appeared to be stretched over bones,” Fischer reported.
Fischer and a Department of Child Services case worker went to the northeastern Vigo County home where the child had lived with the Kraemers. Other children also resided in the home, Fischer noted.
Robin Kraemer said Cameron was fed sweet potato baby food, baby formula, Pedialite, and baby oatmeal cereal. Fischer reports he saw a “very small amount of food for Cameron.”
Robin Kraemer said she used to feed the boy protein shakes, but they had become too expensive when insurance had stopped paying for the shakes. The cans cost $34 each, she told Fischer.
Fischer reported he attended the child's autopsy on Wednesday, where the cause of death was listed as starvation and the manner of death was ruled homicide.