Two home-schooled parents in Georgia are facing myriad charges after their 10-year-old child was found emaciated, wandering the streets in search of food and begging never to return to their sway or residence, Peach State authorities announced Tuesday.
“This child was, quite simply, starved to death, and that’s tragic,” Spalding County District Attorney Marie Broder said at a press conference. “I really believe that if he hadn’t come out of that house, it would be a very different case.”
The boy was being treated for malnutrition and a very low heart rate at a hospital, Griffin Police Department investigator Jodi Spears said. When officers found the child on Friday he was “very skinny” with discolored skin. Neighbors who first saw the boy walking down Westminster Circle took him away and called the police.
“At the time he was taken to the hospital, he weighed only 36 pounds,” Spears said.
A typical healthy weight for a 10-year-old child in the United States would be significantly higher, according to the CDC.
Tyler Schindley and Krista Schindley are each charged with attempted second degree homicide and attempted malicious murder. They also face charges of first-degree, second-degree and third-degree child cruelty, battery, simple battery and false imprisonment, Spears said Tuesday.
According to warrants in the case obtained by Atlanta-based NBC affiliate WXIA, the couple caused their son “cruel and excessive physical and mental pain” when they “intentionally withheld food from the minor for a period of time. prolonged”.
But the alleged starvation diet was not the only abuse the boy suffered, according to these court documents.
The Schindleys are also accused of causing their son “dental damage and disfigurement” and refusing medical treatment.
Additionally, the warrants allege that the boy’s parents “locked the minor child in his bedroom, leaving the child alone in the residence, for long periods of time and repeatedly, without access to light, food, clothing or adult interaction and/or assistance.”
And inside his torture cell-like room, according to the Schindleys’ warrants, the boy had no access to “hot or lukewarm running water, [an] exterior view, toilet paper, electronic communication, human interaction, adult supervision or access to [an] exit.”
The child abuse allegedly took place for at least three years, from May 12, 2020 to May 12, 2023.
Authorities said it was unclear how the child escaped. Broder said he was on his way to Kroger when he was found.
The investigation is ongoing.
There were several additional children in the home, authorities said. They have since been abducted and placed in the custody of the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services. The children were all homeschooled, according to the GPD.
There are no indications that the other children in the home were starved or abused, authorities said.
The boy’s father voluntarily came to the local police department and spoke to investigators after his son was found, Spears said. The boy’s mother was arrested after this following an interview.
Details on the motivation for the alleged abuse are unclear at this time. Authorities declined to go into detail on this and other details about life in the Schindley household due to the status of the investigation.
The DA noted, however, that none of the other children have yet been the subject of “forensic” interviews – and that the victim himself has yet to be formally interviewed.
“As a mother, I can’t understand it,” Broder said at the press conference. “But as a human being, it breaks your heart.”
The couple made their first court appearance on Monday, the prosecutor said. A bail hearing will likely take place in the coming weeks.
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