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NC father charged with felony child abuse in starving death of 9-year-old son

Weeks after a 9-year-old boy was starved to death in Morrisiville, his father now faces criminal charges alongside the boy’s mother.

Warrants obtained by The News & Observer show that Shashikant Tiwari, 40, has been arrested and charged with felony child abuse in his son’s death.

Vinil Tiwari was found unconscious in his home on Dec. 20. Emergency Medical Services workers performed CPR on the boy, but it was quickly determined he was dead — and had been for some time.

Morrisville police said signs of decomposition were already visible on the boy’s body.

The following day, Vinil’s mother, Priyanka Tiwari, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse and murder in the boy’s death.

Shashikant Tiwari’s arrest warrant alleges he “failed to care for his own child and left the child in his mother’s care who he knew was in mental decline.”

According to police records, Morrisville police were called to the Tiwari home eight times in 2023. The records show that four of those calls were “welfare checks.”

It is unclear if police ever saw the boy during these welfare checks.

Weeks before Shashikant’s arrest, an N&O reporter contacted him.

“This is a very difficult time for me and my family, and I am not able to speak on this for now,” he said in an email.

Vinil Tiwari

According to his obituary, Vinil was “a curious, fun, joyful, and loved child.”

“Vinil was a bright spark and was a loving personality, even though his time on earth was tragically short,” it said.

His funeral took place in Raleigh on Dec 23, and his body was cremated.

Vinil was a student in the Wake County Public School System.

“I am so so hurt by this… Cheeky, Ms Nikki loves you….” teacher Nikki Arlett Sanders commented on his obituary.

Child abuse in Wake County

Vinil is one of three children to die of child abuse in Wake County in the past six months.

In October, a 3-week-old baby named Gunner Bliss was allegedly killed by his father. inside the Heart Center Inn on Wake Med’s campus. The father, Noah Bliss, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Soon after Vinil was killed, 5-year-old Karter Holloway died after allegedly being beaten by his father, Amir Hines.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she does not expect any additional charges to be brought in any of these cases.

Yes, you’re supposed to report suspected child abuse and neglect in NC. Here’s how.

To Report Child Abuse or Neglect

Call: 919-212-7990 (English) 919-212-7963 (Espanol)

Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

After regular business hours, weekends and on holidays, call 911 and say you want to make a CPS report. The 911 operator will contact an after-hours social worker who will return your call.