GRIFFIN, Ga. – A starving 10-year-old boy was found wandering a Georgia neighborhood looking for a grocery store where he could beg for food. An investigation led to the arrest of his parents for child neglect and abuse.
Law enforcement authorities in the City of Griffin arrested Tyler and Krista Schindley after the couple’s neighbors found their emaciated son lost in the streets on Friday. The boy reportedly begged officers not to send him back to his house, according to the New York Post.
Police said the child was intentionally starved and weighed merely 36 pounds when he was found. This is about half the weight of a typical 10-year-old and more closely resembles the weight of a 4-year-old, officials said.
During a Tuesday press conference, Griffin District Attorney Marie Broder expressed the perilous circumstances being encountered by the young boy.
“This child was, simply put, being starved to death, and it is tragic,” Broder said. “I truly believe that if he had not gotten out of that home, this would be a very different case.”
The investigation revealed cruel conditions. The parents are accused of locking the boy inside his bedroom and leaving him alone in the house for “extended periods of time, and on multiple occasions, with no access to lights, food, clothing or adult interaction and/or assistance,” according to court documents.
The child was allegedly kept locked inside the house, but managed to escape. (Image via New York Post)
The parents are also accused of withholding hot water, toilet paper, the ability to look outside, and human interaction from the 10-year-old child.
The boy also received a beating at one point, which caused further injuries, according to court documents.
The emaciated child was taken to a nearby hospital, where he is being treated for malnutrition as well as a shallow heart rate, The Post reported.
Furthermore, the boy suffered from “dental injury and disfiguration” as a result of starvation, injuries the parents reportedly failed to treat.
Broder has spent a majority of her career prosecuting child abuse cases. “This case is just disturbing,” she noted. “It’s heartbreaking.”
There were other children in the home, according to authorities. They have since been placed in the custody of the state Department of Family and Children’s Services. It was unclear if any of the additional children had been abused in a similar manner.
The Schindleys have been charged with criminal attempts to commit a felony, false imprisonment, two counts of battery, and three counts of child cruelty.