Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Locked in closet for 4 years

OKLAHOMA CITY - A WOMAN was arrested after her 14-year-son told authorities he escaped from a home where he'd been kept for 4 1/2 years, spending most of his time locked in a bedroom closet, police said on Monday.

A security guard at a National Guard facility in Oklahoma City called police on Friday after the teen showed up malnourished and with numerous scars and other signs of abuse, police Sgt Gary Knight said.

'He was hungry. He was dirty. He had numerous scars on his body,' Mr Knight said. 'It was very sad.'

The boy was taken to a hospital to be examined and then turned over to the custody of the Department of Human Services, Mr Knight said.

After police interviews, officers on Saturday arrested the boy's mother, 37-year-old LaRhonda Marie McCall, and a friend, 38-year-old Steve Vern Hamilton, on 20 complaints each of child abuse and child neglect.

Formal charges have not been filed, and both were being held on US$400,000 (S$567,500) bond, according to jail records.

Jail officials were not sure if either had retained an attorney, and no one answered the phone at McCall's home.

The teen, wearing only a pair of oversized shorts held up by a belt, walked up to a security guard at the Guard facility Friday afternoon and asked where a police station was located so he could report being abused, according to a police report.

He told police that scars on his stomach and torso were from where alcohol had been poured on him and set on fire. Other scars were from being tied up, hit with an extension cord and choked, the boy told police.

'He had scars covering most of his body,' Mr Knight said. 'They were basically from head to foot.' -- AP

Source : The Straits Times

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