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Kenmare, N.D. Mother Charged in Death of 13-Year-Old Son - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Kenmare, N.D. Mother Charged in Death of 13-Year-Old Son

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Jessica Lee Jensen Jessica Lee Jensen

A Kenmare woman has been charged with Class AA murder and child abuse neglect for the death of her 13-year-old son.

35-year-old, Jessica Lee Jensen, made her initial appearance Monday in North Central Judicial District Court. According to court documents, the 13-year-old boy weighed just 21 pounds when he died from starvation in January.

On the evening of January 12, Jensen made a 911 call to Minot Central Dispatch saying that her son had died. The Kenmare Police Department and Kenmare ambulance was sent to Jensen's home and emergency workers found the 13-year-old boy not breathing or responding. The boy was transported to the Kenmare hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Investigators from the Ward County Sheriff's Department were called to the home and started gathering evidence for an investigation. A nurse at the Kenmare Community Hospital reported that the child appeared to be two to three years old. She said Jensen showed little to no emotion but said, "It's my fault."

Jensen said that her mother had been after her to medical help for the child, but that she didn't want to because she wanted to keep her kids close to her. Authorities that responded to Jensen's home say the child's body was gaunt, with bones and joints visible under the skin.

Jensen has two other children, a 14-year-old and 7-year-old.  She said that she has been home-schooling the children for several years and they do not have a regular physician because she believes she can "solve the problems."

According to the criminal complain, Jensen told investigators that the 13-year-old boy has a hormonal growth problem and that this pituitary gland did not function properly. He was treated by a physician in Fargo in 2006 and 2007 and she gave her son daily injections for a "few years" but felt the shots were not effective so she quit taking her son to the doctor.

Because of the child's age and the circumstances surrounding his death, some time passed before the State Medical Examiner had the testing results necessary to reach a conclusion as to why the child had died. Investigators believe he died from starvation.

On Monday, Jensen's bond was set at $250,000 dollars. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 1.

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