An extremely malnourished 12-year-old boy is facing an extended hospital stay after being removed him from his home — where he was allegedly living in captivity, in deplorable conditions.
Brandy K. Jaynes of Toquerville, Utah, was arrested on second-degree felony child abuse charges after her son’s father found him locked in a feces-strewn bathroom in her home. Authorities said they believe the boy had been locked there for a year or more. The boy’s situation was brought to the attention of the police when his father took him to a hospital on January 8 after finding him locked in the bathroom in the home. It is unclear why the father was at the home, or if he had previously been aware of his son’s living conditions.
Officials told a Salt Lake City Fox affiliate that that boy was so undernourished he couldn’t stand.
“The child looked like he was the victim of a concentration camp from World War II,” Washington County Lt. David Crouse told Fox 13. Detectives told the news station that the conditions in the bathroom were “deplorable,” beyond the presences of feces. Court documents obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune indicate the boy had been kept in the dark with closed light switches taped over, and that there was a camera monitoring the bathroom. Investigators found a single blanket and empty cans of beans. Two locks on the door meant that the bathroom door could be locked from the outside. When the boy was brought into the hospital he weighed only 30 lbs — closer to the average weight of a toddler than a 12-year-old boy.
Crouse told the Salt Lake Tribune that that two other siblings living in the same said they hadn’t spoken to their brother through the door in about six months, and that he had likely been locked in the bathroom for a year. The boy’s mother gave a conflicting account: She reportedly said in court documents that the boy “wanted to sleep in this bathroom,” and that she would occasionally lock him in there “for his safety when she would leave the house.”
Jaynes is being held on $20,000 bail.
“It is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever had to see,” Crouse told the Tribune. “I wish I could unsee it.”
Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office