Parental neglect leading to cruel death of children is becoming widespread in developed countries, it seems.
This time it is from Australia where a couple have been charged in the death of 18-month twins in suburban Brisbane. The news has sent shockwaves through the community.
The decomposing and emaciated bodies of the boy and girl were found in their cots by their 11-year-old sister in the family's suburban home in Brisbane. The pair had been dead for up to a week.
The parents of the twins found dead on Monday have since been charged with murder and torture. The couple had initially been charged with neglect.
Both twins, named in media only as Lily and Zaide, weighed around 4 kgs (8.8 lb) when they died, around the weight of a normal newborn baby.
Brisbane Magistrates Court Thursday afternoon heard the 30-year-old woman and 28-year-old man, who cannot be named, will each now face two charges of murder and torture.
The mother told police she had only ever fed the twins by bottle and changed them only occasionally.
When asked why they had died she allegedly told police, "I don't think I fed them enough."
She will undergo a psychiatric assessment and has reportedly been placed on suicide watch.
The father, a senior manager on a major city road project, claimed he had not seen or cared for the twins for six months despite living in the same house.
Lawyers for the man argued there was not enough evidence to support a murder charge because he did not have responsibility for the childen's care.
Lawyer Michael Cridland said: "He hasn't had any contact with the children."
But police prosecutors countered that the man still lived at the house and passed the room every day while going to work.
Court Magistrate Noel Nunan said:"The circumstance of the death of two young 18-month-old children is bizarre, given that both the parents had been in the house for approximately one week since their death."
Since the discovery, the deaths have received prominent newspaper coverage and have dominated television and radio reports.
Neighbours said one of the older siblings once arrived naked on the doorstep and asked to be taken in.
The couple's other children said they rarely saw the twins, who were reportedly kept in their room.
And people are asking themselves how two children could die in a quiet suburban street and their deaths go unnoticed for more than a week.
"I just think that we shouldn't turn a blind eye to this sort of thing any more and that the public need to be more aware and look out for the children," said one resident.
There have been many cases of child neglect in the news for a few years now. And so many have begun to ask - Are parents really too selfish to the extent that they don't feed them? Is there something wrong with community spirit