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Starvation, neglect led to boy's death, autopsy says

Posted June 21, 2013
Updated June 22, 2013

— A baby boy whose body was found in a plastic bag along a roadside in March was severely malnourished and died of neglect, according to an autopsy released Friday.

Matthew Theurer, 21, a senior airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, is facing multiple charges in the death of his 14-month-old son, Matthew. His body was discovered March 12 in a wooded area along N.C. Highway 905, between Whiteville and Tabor City in Columbus County.

According to the autopsy, the boy lived with his mother in Indiana until last July, when she asked his father to take him because she could no longer care for him.

Matthew attended off-base day care from August to November. He was scheduled to start base day care in December but never went. Theurer had moved a friend into his base apartment to care for the child, but she was “escorted off the base” in January, according to the report.

“After this date, no day care was provided for this child, and he was left alone for approximately 12 hours every day and was provided with little food while his father was at…work,” the report said.

The boy was found dead in his room Feb. 15, placed inside multiple white garbage bags and left on the roadside. The autopsy noted that Matthew was born full term at 7 pounds 4 ounces and was at normal weight during his last medical exam, which was at 4 months old. He weighed 13 pounds 8 ounces when he was examined after his death.

“In my opinion, the cause of death in this case was due to severe malnutrition as a result of neglect,” the medical examiner wrote in the report.

The Goldsboro News-Argus reported Friday that Theurer will be court-martialed, although a date has not been set.


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  • bakerbillwade Jun 25, 2013

    There are so many people who would love and care for children. What a horrible life and sad way to die. Death penalty case. He is a true monster!

  • miyata Jun 24, 2013

    So sad what people do to children. Heartbeaking...

  • IPayYouPay Jun 24, 2013

    Find his mother also. Well, dishonorable discharge, there goes your unemployment benefits, _______! Horrible people, if you can call them people. So many people want children. Give them to someone who will love them. Evil man.

  • simplelogic Jun 24, 2013

    Here are two people who had absolutely no business creating a child together. Poor baby; neither parent willing to provide basic care for him...

  • FromClayton Jun 24, 2013

    ANY FIRE STATION WOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM! ANY CHURCH WOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM. Heck, I would have taken him (not really sure what i would have done with him...but i would have at least fed him). Senseless. I say Death Penalty! There were a million of other things he could have done.

  • mrman2a Jun 21, 2013

    What is going on at Seymour Johnson with the child abuse lately.Thats three in three weeks.

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Jun 21, 2013

    Someone deserves the DEATH PENALTY for this! It's disgusting and sad is not even a word I would use to describe what happened. I can't even think of a word, actually!!