Parents Charged With Murdering 8-Year-Old NYC Boy

Joseph Barney died on June 1, nearly 10 months ago. Now his parents have been arrested on murder charges

Emergency-room sign
NBC 5 News

The parents of an apparently severely malnourished 8-year-old Bronx boy who died nearly 10 months ago have been arrested on murder, manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter charged in his death, authorities say.

Little Joseph Barney was discovered by his mother unconscious at their 214th Street apartment on June 1, officials have said. His mother brought him, unresponsive, to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities said at that time there were no obvious signs of trauma to his body. The hospital emergency room was the one to report the child's case to police.

Barney's death was ruled a homicide just last week -- and police said Tuesday that his parents, 33-year-old Michael Ransom and 29-year-old Sharay Barney, had both been arrested in the case. They face the same serious charges.

Few details were immediately shared regarding the autopsy results that prompted the homicide investigation and arrests, but police said Barney was found to have "numerous indications" of child abuse.

He also appeared severely malnourished, weighing just 30 pounds, more than 25 pounds below the average weight for a boy his age.

Additional information is expected from the Bronx district attorney's office.

It wasn't immediately clear if Ransom or Barney had attorneys who could comment on their behalf. Barney didn't answer her door when News 4 knocked on Tuesday.

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