A 9-year-old boy who died earlier this week had long been the victim of unspeakable torture and neglect at the hands his stepmother, and the boy’s father did nothing to help his son, prosecutors allege.
According to KTVB, Emrik Osuna was found unresponsive on Tuesday night at an apartment in Meridian, Idaho. Prosecutor Tamara Kelly reportedly said in court on Thursday that the 9-year-old boy was covered in bruises and had allegedly suffered “horrific torture” at the hands of his mother. His heart was not beating when first responders arrived, and despite lifesaving efforts, he could not be revived.
Police reportedly said that the boy appeared to be malnourished and there was vomit leaking from his mouth.
“The little boy had bruises all over his body, specifically on his buttocks, groin, legs and torso,” Kelly told a judge, according to the report. “Some of the bruises were extremely large and essentially covered the back of his body.”
Kelly also claimed that the boy’s stepmother, 27-year-old Monique Osuna, admitted to police that she had kicked and beaten the boy with a number of items, including a frying pan, a belt, and a dog leash, which the stepmother allegedly said she used because it was “heavier” than the belt.
During recent months when the boy was doing remote learning due to the coronavirus pandemic and Monique Osuna was working from home, she allegedly forced him to do wall-sit exercises and jumping jacks while she was working. The boy’s father Erik Osuna allegedly told police that Emrik had only been given rice to eat and water to drink in the weeks before he died.
Monique Osuna has been charged with first-degree murder. Erik Osuna is charged with felony injury to a child, infliction of great bodily injury and destruction of evidence.
The prosecutor reportedly said in court that the boy had essentially become a prisoner of his stepmother’s abuse during the pandemic, and that his father did nothing to stop it.
“Due to COVID, she’s been working from home and since [Emrik] was not in school, she essentially had access to him all day long,” Kelly said at Thursday’s arraignment.
“In combination with this physical abuse, this defendant admitted to what is essentially torture of E.O. by locking him in a small closet at night to sleep, withholding food, making him do physical strenuous punishments while she was working.”
The couple is also accused of failing to provide the boy with medical care. Detectives reportedly obtained text messages showing that Erik texted Monique earlier Tuesday to say they needed to take Emrik to the hospital.
“I know you are scared, I am too,” the boy’s father reportedly said in the text. But the couple did not take the boy to the hospital then, and did not call 911 until more than four hours later.
The couple has thee other children, according to the report, who are now in the custody of Idaho Health and Welfare. Each suspect is being held on $2 million bail.
It is unclear from report if a medical examiner is performing at autopsy to determine the boy’s cause of death.
A relative has launched a GoFundMe campaign to have the boy buried in California, where Emrik lived before he was reunited with his father in recent years, according to a statement posted on the fundraiser.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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