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Family charged in child's death

Nolan Clay Published: December 28, 1999

Nathan Adam Burk didn't live long enough to enjoy his first Christmas.

He died in August. Doctors believe he was starved to death in his roach-infested house in southeast Oklahoma City.

On Monday, his mother, Angela Burk, and grandparents, Estel Ray Sexton and Catherine E. Sexton, were charged with first-degree murder.

Burk, 20; Ray Sexton, 48; and Catherine Sexton, 41, are accused in Oklahoma County District Court of "willfully... withholding nutrition." They have not been arrested.

On the phone Monday night, both the mother and grandmother denied starving the boy. They then hung up.

Nathan was 3 months old when he died Aug. 24. He weighed only 6 pounds 13 ounces, less than his weight at birth.

An autopsy found no evidence of disease and instead concluded "this otherwise physically intact child did not receive the environmental conditions required for normal growth."

Doctors reported Nathan had no body fat and little food in his body. Doctors found roach bites on Nathan's head, neck, back, buttocks and legs, according to the autopsy report.

Police described the boy's home at 600 SE 35 as filthy and covered with roaches.

"Utility records indicated that the water had been turned off due to nonpayment three months earlier," police Sgt. Mike Veasey wrote in an affidavit.

"The residence smelled of decaying food and feces that was found in the nonworking toilet. A jar of open spoiled baby food was found in the refrigerator along with an opened box of baby cereal.

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