Case Update: More Details Emerge About the Sad Case of 5-Year-Old Josias Marquez

Josias Marquez
Josias Marquez.

Today, I have an update on the case of 5-year-old Josias Marquez, the little boy with “high needs” whose body was found in the trunk of his mother’s car in Green Bay, Wisconsin on March 30.

According to investigators, Josias died months earlier.

The case came to light after a neighbor called police upon seeing Josias’ then-two and six-year-old siblings outside the family’s home without supervision. After the children’s mother, 25-year-old Sagal Hussein, gave police and CPS the runaround for a couple of months, police obtained a search warrant and discovered little Josias’ body in the trunk of Sagal’s car. 

Sagal was charged yesterday with hiding her son’s body, and court documents provide a window into an utterly disgusting case of neglect.

Josias, who I previously reported had meningitis as a newborn and subsequently suffered from seizures and blindness, was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. One of his doctors had told his mother that without his medications, Josias’ seizures could cause a “fatal outcome.”

Sagal Hussein's mugshot. (Brown County Jail)
Sagal Hussein’s mugshot.
(Brown County Jail)

Of course, any mother in her right mind would religiously administer the child’s medications, right? Ha! That’s not why you’re on this blog right now. Instead of doing what a decent parent would do — give the kid his medicine — Sagal instead told investigators she had not given Josias his medications since 20-freaking-18, instead deciding to treat him with CBD oil.

My brain cannot comprehend this astronomical fuckery.|

Look, I have literally nothing against CBD oil. I carry a CBD tincture around in my purse, or, at least, I did when I was able to leave the house; I find it really helps with stress-related anxiety, and it has also helped deescalate some of my migraine attacks before they really take hold. But to treat cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and potentially life-threatening seizures? Like, alone, with no other medicinal assistance? 

Medical records confirmed that Josias had not received medical treatment for his conditions since 2018 and was not taking the medications prescribed to him.

Josias in healthier times.

Oh, but that’s not all. Josias was reportedly severely malnourished, as well. One of his former day care teachers told investigators that Josias was “always very thin” and that his mother provided him an “inadequate stroller” that did not properly support him. He was, of course, unable to walk or move much at all. The teacher also said Josias missed day care “in spurts” and that his mother’s excuses for his absences were vague at best. The director of the day care made a report to Child Protective Services about Josias’ apparent malnutrition, his lack of food, and his lack of communication with staff and other children.

Investigators interviewed a family advocate for the Howard-Suamico School District, who said she conducted two home visits at the Hussein home in 2018. Because she never made contact with Josias, she filed a report with CPS about concerns the little boy was being left home alone and that she had been unable to see him during her visits.

A school district social worker told police she became involved with the Hussein family in January of 2019 due to Josias’ special needs and that she, too, had a hard time connecting with Sagal. The only time she made contact with Josias was at their first meeting. 

School officials from the school Josias attended, Bay Harbor Elementary in Suamico, told investigators they had not seen Josias since winter break in December.

James Marquez
James Marquez holding photos of
Josias, as well as the box containing
his son’s ashes.

On March 26, a phone call was recorded between Sagal and Josias’ father, James Marquez, although it is not clear who made or authorized the recording. During the call, Sagal told James that she “fucked up” and was “in a hell of trouble.” 

Charging documents show that around the time of Josias’ birth, James lived with the family and was the children’s primary caretaker. He told police that in January of 2019, he grew “fed up with Sagal and not helping care for the kids” and moved to California. During the March 26 phone call, he said, Sagal was lying, and he became worried about Josias’ safety. He told investigators that, in his opinion, Sagal was embarrassed of their son’s disability and treated the other two children much better than she treated Josias. 

According to a friend, Sagal had posted multiple photos of the other two children, now seven and three, on Facebook, but the friend did not see any of Josias.

The criminal complaint alleges that Sagal showed no emotion or concern about Josias’ safety when she was questioned by investigators, who tried to float the idea that Josias might have died because of his medical conditions and she just “freaked out.” 

Josias Marquez
Josias sleeping in his car seat.

An autopsy was performed on Josias’ little body, and the results are sickening. The little boy weighed 20 pounds, and his body was “significantly undernourished, mummified, had mold in places on his body, and that a long dark colored hair was located on the decedent’s left thigh. Based on the decomposition of the decedent, the decedent had been deceased for months.” The doctor said that Josias’ undernourishment “was severe and would have created a significant risk of death.”

Sagal Hussein has been charged with chronic neglect of a child resulting in death, hiding a corpse, two counts of neglecting a child, and five counts of obstructing an officer. She is being held in the Brown County Jail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 7. If convicted of the charges against her, she could face up to 80 years in prison.

Cross your fingers.

Josias was cremated, and his father, along with James’ mother and aunt, flew to Green Bay to receive his ashes. During the trip, James was able to see and spend time with his two surviving children, but he was not able to take them back to California with him. It seems the paternal side of the family has some hoops to jump through before that can happen, but I wish them all the best and hope the kids can be home with their daddy soon.

James and his family held a small memorial service for the little boy they called JoJo on April 25. 

Josias Marquez cremated remains in box
The box containing Josias’ cremated remains.

Sources: Green Bay Press Gazette, Facebook

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