Hixson couple faces murder charges in starving death of mentally-handicapped son

Father tells police his son stopped eating in April, then refused to eat over the last week before his death

HIXSON (WDEF) – A Hixson couple is in jail, accused of first-degree murder in the starving death of their mentally-handicapped son.

John and Jacqueline Hoover were arrested Friday night.

Chattanooga Police say John Hoover called the department, saying his 44-year-old son had stopped eating in April, and refused to eat over the last week.

Hoover took his son to the hospital, where he passed away on June 29th.

Police tell News 12 that, after examination at the hospital, it was found that the son had physical signs of abuse, and it was due to malnutrition and neglect.

Both John and Jacqueline Hoover were arrested as a result because they were his caretakers.

I spoke with the manager of the mobile home park and the Hoovers’ next-door neighbor, but neither would go on camera.

The manager says the son would routinely walk up and down the complex, and the neighbor told me he would do so often telling people he was hungry.

Animal control officers were also at the residence and took away several cats that were living inside the house.

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