GREENFIELD — A 6-month old baby who weighs just 8 pounds was underfed by her parents, who now face neglect charges, reports state.

A Greenfield couple was arrested this week on neglect charges after doctors told state investigators their infant daughter was severely underweight, according to court documents. A 6-month-old normally weighs between 13 and 19 pounds, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention; severe underlying medical issues can also cause problems with weight gain, but doctors could not find an explanation for the little girl’s size, reports state.

Matthew Maxwell, 24, and Arianne Werbil, 23, both of 2109 Crossing Terrace, Apartment B, Greenfield, each face two counts of neglect of a dependent, both as Level 5 felonies.

Story continues below gallery

Police say the couple’s nearly 6-month-old baby weighed just 8 pounds when examined by a local doctor, who recommended she be admitted to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital for further care.

The doctor told the Indiana Department of Child Services she was concerned the little girl was underdeveloped because she wasn’t being fed enough, according to court documents.

The baby had gained just 2 pounds since birth; she was born in September, and she was still wearing newborn-sized clothing when the investigation began earlier this month, records state.

The Department of Child Services received three anonymous calls to its tip line alleging the couple was neglecting the baby, court document state. One caller said the baby seemed small for her age; another said the parents seemed secretive, like they were hiding the child from their friends and family, records state.

The baby was seen by a doctor on March 14 at the request of Department of Child Services investigators, according to court documents.

The doctor who examined the child noted she had lost 2 pounds since her last doctor visit, records state.

The doctor said the baby was not playful and moved very little during the exam. The baby had trouble lifting her head when the doctor laid her on her stomach, and her legs could not support her weight, according to court records.

Both of the baby’s feet were purple, and the skin there was dry and peeling, according to court documents.

After being told the baby was being transferred to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, “Matthew showed a lot of emotion and had a panic attack in the hallway; however, Arianne had very little expression,” reports state.

The child spent the next week being monitored by experts, who labeled her “failure to thrive” — meaning her weight and rate of weight gain were much lower than other children her age, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The baby was admitted to Peyton Manning late on March 14. Maxwell and Werbil left the child there alone that Tuesday night, telling doctors they “would not be back until the weekend at the earliest,” according to court documents.

While the girl was staying at the hospital, several doctors noted in their reports that no family member was at the baby’s bedside for the five days she was in the hospital, court documents state.

During an exam on the day the baby was released from the hospital, Werbil told a doctor the baby was a good sleeper, and it was difficult to wake her in the middle of the night for feedings, records state.

“Arianne said that is why (the child) wasn’t fed as often,” court documents state.

The baby was removed from her parents’ care and placed in foster care, according to court documents.

Maxwell and Werbil were arrest Monday and scheduled to appear in Hancock Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon. They were being held in the Hancock County Jail without bond at press time.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or