Clinton Township parents charged with starving 2-year-old son to death -- what we know

Parents found child dead in crib, police say

Jonathon Matthew Cheek and Sierra Pearl Zaitona (Macomb County Sheriff's Office)

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The parents of a 2-year-old boy from Clinton Township have been charged after the child starved to death, authorities said.

Boy found dead in crib

Officials said the parents found their biological son dead in his crib on Thursday (March 16).

The child was examined by a coroner, who determined that he had died from starvation.

“I’m so angry people could actually do that to a child,” Prosecutor Molly Zappitell said. “I think this baby needed someone to watch out for him, and nobody was looking out for his interests, and that needs to change.”

“I would like to thank the Clinton Township Police Department for their hard work during this investigation in the child’s death,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said.

Parents charged

On Monday, Jonathon Matthew Cheek, 25, and Sierra Pearl Zaitona, 27, both of Clinton Township, were charged in connection with their son’s death.

They’re both charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse. The second-degree murder charge carries a possible life sentence, and the child abuse charge is a 10-year felony.

Magistrate Ryan Zemke set the bond for both parents at $1 million, cash/surety. They must wear GPS tethers, if released.

Next court dates

A probable cause conference has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 3.

The preliminary examination has not yet been scheduled.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.