Parents of a 13-year-old boy could face up to 22 years and six months in prison after their severely malnourished child ran away from home.
The couple from Crestline, Ohio faced a Crawford County judge on Tuesday, charged with kidnapping, felony, assault and child endangerment. The victim was their own son.
The child allegedly ran away from home. He was severely malnourished when he was found by law enforcement, weighing just 29 kilograms, according to the Bucyrus Telegraph.
Crawford County Prosecutor Matt Crall said the child had to be taken to hospital, where he remains.
Citing police records, Mr Crall said the boy was forced to eat a strict vegan diet, consisting of almonds, bananas and grapes. The boy reportedly had to eat everything within 30 minutes, the Bucyrus Telegraph reports.
According to Crawford County Now, the child was put under surveillance, to make sure he didn’t eat any food other than grapes and nuts.
The child’s name has not been revealed.
John P. Miller is the boy’s biological father and his wife, Katrina Miller, adopted the child. The boys biological mother reportedly no longer has custody.
According to The Bucyrus Telegraph, John Miller was also indicted on a charge of domestic violence. Mr Miller allegedly assaulted his son when he wouldn’t eat “the way they told him to eat”.
Both John and Katrina Miller have been indicted and face being charged with convictions such as on one count of kidnapping, one count of felonious assault and two felony counts of child endangerment.
The Millers reportedly have a three-year-old son at home.
According to WBNS, Mr Crall said the boy was so ashamed with how he looked, he wore three sweatshirts to cover up his body.
According to Mr Crall, the child survived cancer as a newborn, which prompted Mrs Miller to consult an interstate doctor through the internet and put the child on the ‘naturalist’ diet.
“The pictures in this case quite frankly depict, it's tough to tell if it's a boy or a girl or the sex of the alleged victim in this case, because the victim is so emaciated," Judge Sean Leuthold said according to WBNS.
"His arms are probably 2 to 3 inches around at best. I've never seen a picture like this that didn't involve an atrocity from the past."
According to the Bucyrus Telegraph, the child was found by law enforcement, after he sought help at a home nearby, where the residents called police.
The child was home-schooled, however he did regularly attend church.
According to Crawford County Now, the child remains in hospital, where he may remain as a patient for some time, while doctors try to implement a proper diet.
Ted Stamper told WBNS the allegations of his daughter Katrina starving the 13-year-old boy are “not true”.
“They told him to eat,” Mr Stamper said.
Mr Stamper alleges the boy refused to eat and when he did the boy would “throw it back up”.
Mr Stamper admitted he did not witness this, rather the parents told him the boy was making himself sick.
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