A couple accused of abusing and starving their son were charged with murder Friday, after the young boy was subjected to wearing a collar without food and chained to a bathtub.
WIBW reports that 12-year-old Eduardo Posso was chained, beaten, and shocked with an electric dog collar, then left alone in the bathroom of a Bloomington, Indiana, motel room for weeks, according to police. By the time his father took him to the hospital, Eduardo was so neglected that he passed away. His father, 32-year-old Luis Posso, claimed the boy slipped and fell in shower, but authorities said the boy was murdered.
Both Posso and the boy’s stepmother, 25-year-old Dayan Median Flores, were charged with murder, a little over a week after they brought the boy to an emergency room when he started having trouble breathing.
Monroe County Coroner Joani Shields noted the boy weighed between 50 to 55 pounds, had bruising on his body, and showed signs of severe neglect and starvation.
“This is beyond anything that I’ve worked with,” Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain said shortly after the hospital alerted authorities of the child’s condition. “I can’t think of, in 30 years, a case like this….You don’t even want to let your mind go to imagine what this child’s thoughts were and what his prospects for his future were.”
Flores and Posso worked as independent contractors for a circus and passed out event flyers for a living. They traveled to different cities and states for work. They were at an Economy Inn in Bloomington when they allegedly forced Eduardo into a bathtub with leg cuffs, shackles, and a shock collar on.
This is 12 year old Eduardo Posso. @ManateeSheriff took this photo during one of their last investigations in December into abuse allegations. He is smiling and appears healthy. He died last week after being restrained by a k9 collar in the bathroom of a motel room @FOX13News pic.twitter.com/2o5YgZa1uw
— Kim Kuizon FOX 13 (@kkuizon) May 30, 2019
According to court documents obtained by IndyStar, the suspects allegedly placed a security web camera in the bathroom and had an app for the system on one of their cellphones. When detectives reviewed footage on the phone, they found photos of the boy with the shock collar around his neck. Further, authorities found a video of boy being restrained.
Police said the couple also brought their three other children, ages 9, 5, and 2, with them as they went to different cities. Authorities indicated some of the children were often put to work passing out the flyers as well. None of the children were enrolled in school.
The other children were healthy and didn’t show signs of abuse. Police said that Eduardo was a problem child for the couple. Flores reportedly told police that it was Posso who physically abused and used restraints on the boy. She admitted she was aware of the situation.
“I was given the explanation that he was the child that acted up the most,” Detective Jennifer Allen said during a news conference. “He was the one they always had issues with. The other children behaved better than he did.”
The abuse has been going on for a while, according to authorities. Allen added that Eduardo had 0% body fat. When officials interviewed the couple’s other children, Eduardo’s 5-year-old sibling said the boy was “bad and not part of the family.”
Prior to the family traveling to different areas, Eduardo once lived in Myakka City, Florida. According to court documents, Florida child protective investigators were called to the boy’s home five times in an 18-month period for suspicion of abuse.
One of the calls came from Eduardo’s biological mother, Aurea Esmeralda Garcia, who said she felt helpless when the reports each time came back that the abuse was unfounded. Neighbors told the Bradenton Herald that they often saw the boy outside performing manual labor.
In December 2018, the children were pulled out of school and began traveling with Posso and Flores, just a few days after Eduardo spoke with a detective and a child protection investigator.
“He was healthy and seemingly happy,” sheriff’s office spokesman Randy Warren told Bradenton Herald on Thursday, explaining that in December, the boy didn’t appear abused.
Since the suspects traveled to different areas, various jurisdictions are expected to be involved in the case. The other children are in the care of Child Protection Services.
Both suspects remain behind bars. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Eduardo Posso/Handout]