TOQUERVILLE – A woman was arrested Monday in a case of alleged child abuse that has been called “heinous” and “like something out of a horror movie.”
Medical staff at Dixie Regional Medical Center contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Office concerning a case of suspected child abuse after a man brought his emaciated 12-year-old son to the hospital Sunday, Jan. 8.
The boy weighed only 30 pounds and was the worst case of child malnutrition the doctors said they had ever seen, Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse said Tuesday.
“He looked like one of those children who had been held in a concentration camp,” Crouse said as he described the boy’s physical condition. “Skin and bones and only weighing 30 pounds.”
Deputies spoke to the father and also to the boy and were made aware of the boy’s living conditions at home.
“I’ve seen the photos and I wish I could unsee them,” Crouse said.
The father found the boy locked in a filthy, feces-covered upstairs bathroom in the dark, according to a probable cause statement connected with the arrest of 36-year-old Brandy Jaynes, the boy’s mother. The father took the boy from the home and took him to the hospital.
Deputies obtained a warrant to search the Toquerville home and found a bathroom that had feces and a blanket on the floor and empty cans of beans inside. The bathroom’s toilet was also described as having more fecal matter in it than visible water. There was also a video camera with a baby monitor taped to it inside the bathroom.
A large of amount of tape also covered the light switches in the bathroom, Crouse said, and there were two latches on the door to lock it from the outside.
From what investigators gathered while interviewing the boy’s two siblings, who were seemingly treated in a normal fashion, Crouse said, the boy was living in the bathroom for a year if not longer.
The siblings also said they hadn’t spoken to their brother through the bathroom door in six months, according to what Crouse told the Associated Press. He declined to give their ages, but said one was old enough to understand things.
According to the probable cause statement, Jaynes told deputies that her son wanted to live in the bathroom. She also said she would lock the boy in the bathroom for his safety when she left the house. She also attempted to give him protein shakes to get his weight back up.
“This is something out of the makings of a horror film,” Crouse said. “It’s like one of the more heinous captivity stories I’ve ever been told.”
Crouse, who said he has seen many crazy and gory things during his time in law enforcement, said Tuesday he has never seen anything like this before.
He also said those involved in the case when it first started worked non-stop until they were satisfied the children were safe.
The 12-year-old boy is expected to be recovering in the hospital for around three weeks or so and his siblings have been placed in the custody of family members.
The father of the 12-year-old boy appears to be separated from Jaynes, Crouse said, and is cooperating with authorities.
Jaynes is currently in the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and has been charged with a second-degree felony for child abuse, intentionally inflicting serious physical injury. New charges may be added as the case moves forward. Her bail currently stands at $30,000.
“Behavior like that just can’t be explained,” Crouse said. “It’s horrible.”
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