Berks

Couple charged in daughter's death give up other children

A Berks County couple charged in the death of their 2-year-old daughter have surrendered custody of their six other children.

Jonathan and Grace Foster first appeared in court Wednesday morning for a bail modification hearing, which stemmed from a motion filed by the district attorney's office that sought to require the couple provide medical care for their children as a condition of bail.

That hearing was then followed by a dependency hearing, which was closed to the public. At that time, the couple turned over custody of their six children -- ages seven months to 11 years -- to Berks Children and Youth Services (CYS), according to District Attorney John Adams.

The DA's office subsequently withdrew its motion.

The Fosters are awaiting trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children in the death of their daughter, Ella Grace, on November 8, 2016.

The couple stand accused of failing to seek medical care for the girl, who died of pneumonia at the family's home in Upper Tulpehocken Township.

The parents are members of the non-denominational Faith Tabernacle Church in Lebanon. They said they believe in the power of prayer over medicine or doctors.

The Fosters have been free on bail since their arrest earlier this month.


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