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Boy found dead in feces-strewn dungeon room was fed scraps from siblings’ plates; parents did not report his death: Prosecutor

A Pennsylvania District Attorney has revealed more details about the brutal torture and death of a 12-year-old boy, while vowing to bring his killers to justice.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maxwell Schollenberger was found dead on May 26 in a bedroom in his Annville Township home, where he lived with his father, his stepmother, and an unknown number of half-siblings.

Responding officers found his emaciated body in a room with no artificial light, and with the windows sealed shut. The boy was reportedly lying naked on a bed; the body and the sheets were covered in feces, and officers observed claw marks on the sheets. Police also saw a metal hook on the door that investigators believe was used to lock Max in the room.

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Max has never been enrolled in school, and had n0t seen a doctor in a decade. His siblings reportedly told police they rarely saw him; and one or more of the children said they didn’t know he existed.

A medical examiner ruled that Max died of blunt force trauma to the head, complicated by starvation and malnutrition.

Max’s father Scott Schollenberger Jr., 42, and stepmother Kimberly Mauer, 35, have been charged with criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children. They are both being held without bond.

Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf spoke to the Lebanon Daily News about the particular heinous nature of Max’s abuse and subsequent death.

“This is a little boy, 12 years old, who died alone in the dark, covered in his own human waste. He’s a little boy that died starving, that died internally bleeding, that died suffering,” Graf said. “The images of that child in the bed, the way that he died, those images go home with you. They go home with me. They go home with our investigators. We will carry this forever.”

Graf also shared new details about the investigation, telling the news outlet that the other children in the home were well-fed and appeared to be taken care of; there was no indication that Max’s father and stepmother were unable to provide adequate food for the household.

“One thing that we always look at in a malnutrition or starvation case, whether it’s an adult, a disabled person, a child, we look to see was there sufficient food there,” Graf told the news outlet. “There was. There was an abundance of food in the kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator, the freezer.”

Nonetheless, Max was fed only scraps from his siblings’ plates after they had finished eating, the prosecutor alleged. Graf said that it was unclear how often Max was fed even the secondhand portions of food. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Max weighed only 47.5 pounds when he died, nearly half the average weight of a 12-year-old boy.

Graf also told the Lebanon Daily News that Max’s parents were not who reported his death. Graf said that a neighbor, who she declined to identify, alerted police after having a conversation with one of the suspects. It is not known what was said in that conversation, or how long the boy had been dead before the neighbor contacted police.

CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.

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CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.