Parents charged in slaying of 9-year-old son who recently beat cancer

The parents of a 9-year-old Pennsylvania boy found naked, strangled and partially buried behind his home this spring are now charged in connection with his murder, prosecutors announced this week.

Azuree Charles, found dead naked and muddied behind her New Kensington home on May 4, died of mechanical strangulation, Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli said during a news conference Wednesday.

“This horrific tragedy has shaken the community of New Kensington,” Ziccarelli told reporters inside the Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. “The trauma that has affected us all pales in comparison to what Azuree undoubtedly experienced.”

Ziccarelli did not provide further details about the case, citing an open investigation.

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Azuree Charles, a 9-year-old Pennsylvania boy, was found strangled behind his New Kensington home on May 4, 2022. On September 21, 2022, prosecutors charged his parents in connection with his death.

According to an arrest report obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the boy’s body was found naked and covered in mud, partially covered by lawn furniture and a foam cooler. The boy’s pajamas were hanging from nearby branches, the report said.

On Wednesday, the boy’s father, Jean Charles, 40, was charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, concealing the death of a child and other crimes in connection with Azuree’s death, Ziccarelli said.

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