Latino Parents Charged In The Horrifying Abuse And Death Of 12-Year-Old Boy
Two Latino parents in Indiana are being charged with neglect and confinement after restraining and starving a young boy to death in Indiana, People reports.
According to officials, 12-year-old Eduardo Fosso was a victim of childhood abuse, with his father and step-mother taking photos and videos of him in restraints and a fitted dog shock-collar around his neck while in a bathtub.
“[He] lived a very sad life, a lot of times under restraint, and his life gradually diminished after repeated acts of abuse by his father with the … knowledge of his stepmother,” said Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain during a news conference on Tuesday.
The boy’s father, Luis Fosso, 32, could also face murder charges should a forensic test determine that the child’s death is linked to his mistreatment.
“The initial thoughts are that he starved to death,” he said.
Monroe County coroner Joani Shields added that the child was “severely emaciated,” weighing about 50 to 55 pounds.
Fossi and Dayan Media Flores, 25, who were both investigated by child protective services in Florida, where they used to reside, were passing through Indiana for work. They are contracted employees hired to place ads that promote a traveling circus. The couple was accompanied by three other children, a 9-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy and 2-year-old boy. The youth, who appeared to be in good physical health, were placed with a child protection agency.
On Thursday, the father brought Eduardo to Bloomington Hospital after he stopped breathing. The boy appeared to be getting sick while the family was out together hanging leaflets.
“The stepmom said ‘I think we need to go back to the hotel,’ and at that point they did … and he continued to decline from there,” sheriff’s detective Lt. Jennifer Allen said.
The child was declared dead at 3:05 a.m., only 13 minutes after he arrived at the hospital. Employees told law enforcement that the boy exhibited “signs of extreme abuse.” Investigators soon obtained a search warrant and returned to the family’s motel room, where they found chains, ankle and wrist restraints as well as the dog shock-collar. They also discovered videos and photos on the parents’ cell phones and web-based security system that showed how they abused the child.
The parents denied starving Eduardo, though they both disclosed that the father would physically abuse him.
“I was given the explanation that (Eduardo) was the child that acted up the most,” Allen said. “He was the one that they always had issues with.”
In older videos and photographs found, Eduardo appeared to be somewhat “of a normal, happy little boy,” Allen continued. Still, investigators are currently looking into other towns the family visited for work, including Bedford, Nashville and Kokomo, for additional evidence of mistreatment or charges in other jurisdictions.
A sheriff on the case said it was “horrendous” and “beyond anything I’ve worked” in his 20 years as a child abuse investigator.
The couple is currently being held on a $500,000 bond in the Monroe County Correctional Center.
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