7 year-old Chandler Grafner of Denver, Colorado should be playing with friends, riding his bike, or even playing his video games. But instead Chandler Grafner is lying in a coroner’s office weighing only 30 pounds. Not even half of what he should weigh. Authorities say his small body could not handle anymore and went into cardiac arrest.
His parents, Jon Phillips and Sarah Berry are being charged with the murder of the young child, on grounds that they both starved the boy to death intentionally and deliberately, as well as child abuse on a child younger than 12 years old. The two face life in prison with no possibility of parole if convicted on all counts.
Phillips and Berry also had a younger son who was placed in foster care until further notice by social services. Phillips had just gained custody of the two brothers in January of this year. Maternal grandmother, Sandra Younger had tried to regain custody of the boys, but Phillips made sure that did not happen by manipulating the system and telling lies about her that would put doubt in the mind of social services, therefore swaying their decision towards Phillips.
Younger also went on to say that “Jon presents himself very well. He looks like the boy next door. He obviously fooled Jefferson County social services. He had my daughter fooled. He had me fooled,”
The problems with the boys came about when social services had been called to the house of Sandra Younger. The mother of the two boys, Christina Grafner had been watching her sons at her mother’s home, when the two went over to a neighbor’s house with another child. The children were left unattended for a few minutes and ended up going out the back gate and found later by a fire station. Of course with times as they are today, social services was called, and the investigation began.
Sometime later, Phillips took custody of the boys. Younger did however receive visitations one weekend a month, and phone calls as often as she or they liked. Unfortunately as soon as Phillips had custody all contact, including phone calls stopped immediately. Authorities with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation ran a background check on Phillips and came up with basically nothing. A couple of citations from when he was a teenager, and nothing else. Obviously Phillips was good at hiding what really went on.
The two remain in the Denver County Jail as of today and are being held without bond. Formal charges for the childs death are scheduled for May 14, 2007.