Two teen siblings recalled the horror they witnessed after they rescued their little brother from a small crawl space where he lived in 2014, under the stairs in his family’s Spring, Texas, home. The child’s stepmother was convicted last week of starving and abusing the boy.
Sun Online reports that siblings Cody and Allison Frank would sneak pieces of bread to their stepbrother, then 5, fearing he would starve to death after his Brad Bleimeyer, 29, began abusing the boy for no reason. Part of the abuse doled out was forcing the boy to live in the small “Harry Potter” closet, beating him, and denying the child basic needs.
Further, the father and stepmother, Tammi Bleimeyer, limited the child to a piece of bread for dinner, which was snatched away from him if he took to long to eat, according to officials. They also drugged him before hiding him away when guests came over to the house. They didn’t want anyone to hear the child cry or scream out.
Officials said the abuse and neglect started sometime after a visit from social workers in 2014, who found the boy to be in good health at the time.
The abuse started off gradually, according to Cody, 21, and Allison, 19. First, Brad and Tammi Bleimeyer, 37, stripped away the little boy’s pillow, blanket, and clothes, leaving him to wear nothing but a diaper. Eventually, the couple stopped feeding the child regularly and made him “disappear” for days on end. The siblings later realized he was sent to live in a crawl space in the home, surrounded by open wires and nails.
Cody was 16 when he rescued the boy. The older brother told the outlet he was horrified when he opened the the door to the small areas and saw the condition his little stepbrother was in.
JUSTICE HAS ARRIVED !! MOTHER WHO STARVED HER 5 YEAR OLD STEP SON AND KEPT HIM LOCKED IN A CLOSET UNDER STAIRS WAS FOUND GUILTY TODAY IN COURT!!
In Feb 2015 Tammi Bleimeyer was arrested and charged with felony injury to a child by omission. pic.twitter.com/YIyaMjX7r5
— Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 (@Pct4Constable) December 7, 2018
“The day I opened up that closet, Jordan was in the worst shape I had ever seen him in. I had been in a huge fight with Brad so I was already in trouble and both adults were outside of the house so I just saw an opportunity and I opened up the closet to let Jordan out.
“But what I found was truly shocking – he was in his diaper, he didn’t have any clothes on. His face was all caved in, bruises all over, marks on him. His mouth was foaming. I have never in my life seen anything as bad as that. I kind of paused for a second and then I just freaked out.”
Cody explained that he pulled the boy out of the closet, handed him to Allison, 14 at the time, then walked outside to confront his stepfather and mother.
“They both flipped out that I had opened the closet door – they said I had no business going in there, that it wasn’t anything to do with me. At that point things escalated between me and Brad and we started shoving each other and I was just trying to draw as much attention as I could.”
Cody said he used a prepaid cellphone to call the police, but his mother was already in the process of packing her things in an attempt to flee the home. She managed to grab the little boy and drive away before police arrived.
The following day, police located the child after pinging Tammi Bleimeyer’s phone. They found her in a hotel in Humble, Texas, with the child. Authorities reported that the little boy was covered with bruises, bumps, and appeared severely malnourished. Deputies immediately had the child transported to the hospital.
It took almost 5 years, but a Spring woman, Tammi Bleimeyer, has been sentenced to 28 years for starving her five-year-old stepson…"locking him away in a crawlspace under the stairs the family dubbed the “Harry Potter Room,” prosecutors announced Monday. #khou #HTownRush pic.twitter.com/DXtmJKYJfE
— The Bishop (@BillBishopKHOU) December 11, 2018
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Tammy Bleimeyer was convicted of child injury last week and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Brad Bleimeyer, who faced the same charges, pleaded guilty in 2016 and was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
Allison said she’ll never forget the little boy’s reaction once they pulled him out of the cupboard.
“He didn’t even say anything – he was out of it. He didn’t know what was going on. That’s what was so upsetting he didn’t even know what day it was. I remember him falling and I picked him up and him just being in my arms was terrible.”
Authorities said if his siblings hadn’t rescued him, the child would have likely died within days. The boy is now living with his biological mother and said to be “healthy and happy.”
[Featured image: Jordan Bleimeyer/Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office]