TOQUERVILLE, Utah, Jan. 10, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — In a case described as “horrific,” a 12-year-old boy has been discovered after being locked in a dark, feces-filled bathroom for a year or more and starved until he weighed a scant 30 pounds.
The child was taken to a hospital and his mother has been booked into jail.
“I’ve seen the pictures,” WCS Lt. David Crouse told the media. “They’re horrific. I’ve seen other horrible things, but this is one of those things I’ll never forget.”
Crouse said the boy has been locked up for at least one year, maybe two. His father took the child to a local hospital where he is expected to remain for at least three weeks, while he regains some of his strength.
According to a probable cause statement, a doctor at the Dixie Regional Medical Center called it “the worst case of malnutrition he has ever seen.” The boy weighs one third the average weight for a 12-year-old boy in America.
The boy’s mother, Brandy K. Jaynes, 36, of La Verkin, was charged Monday in 5th District Court with child abuse causing serious injury, which is a second degree felony. Additional charges may be filed.
According to the probable cause statement, the child was brought to Dixie Regional Medical Center by his father, who found the boy locked in an upstairs bathroom that was hidden by sheets hung on the wall. It was not immediately clear whether the father lives in the home.
“He (the father) said he pulled down the sheets and saw the door had two latches at the top that were in the latched position (locked),” the statement says. “He said he found his son laying on the floor of the bathroom with a blanket. He stated took his son out of the home and later brought him to the hospital.”
After a judge approved a search warrant, officers went to the home, in Toquerville.
“During a search of the home, detectives located an upstairs bathroom that the victim’s mother admitted to being the room the victim stayed in,” the statement continues.
“Inside the bathroom there was what appeared to be feces all over the floor. There was a blanket on the floor, as indicated by the victim’s father. The toilet bowl was full of feces to the point that you could not see any water but the bowl was half full of feces.”
The statement said officers found a few empty bean cans and a spoon in the shower. The shower’s drain was covered with duct tape, and the light switch reportedly had been taped in the “off” position.
“On the edge of the shower ledge, which was raised a few inches off the ground, was a video camera and baby monitor duct tapped to the edge,” the probable cause statement continues.
“The victim’s mother stated her son wanted to sleep in this bathroom. She stated she would occasionally lock her son in the bathroom for his safety when she would leave the house. She also stated she was attempting to feed her son protein drinks to get his weight up.”
“Brandy Jaynes was arrested for child abuse. She was transported and booked into the Purgatory Jail without incident.”
The boy reportedly was taken out of school three years ago. His two siblings continued to go to school, and showed no signs of abuse.