Toquerville, Utah – authorities say two siblings of a 12-year-old boy found dangerously malnourished and locked in a filthy bathroom say their brother had been there for at least one year.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Crouse said Tuesday the children said they hadn’t even spoken to their brother through the door in six months.
He declined to give their ages, but said one was old enough to understand things.
The boy was found Sunday at his home in the small southeastern Utah city of Toquerville near the state line with Arizona.
Crouse says investigators have discovered the boy was likely kept in the dark.
They found 3 square feet of duct tape mounted on the light switch so it could not be turned on.
He says a doctor who treated the boy says it is the worst case of malnourishment he had ever seen.
Crouse says the boy was unable to stand on his own and weighed 30 pounds. He’s expected to stay in the hospital for several weeks to recover.
Crouse says seeing the pictures of the gaunt boy and the feces-filled bathroom was horrible.
Police say the woman said the boy wanted to sleep in the bathroom and she tried to feed him protein shakes.
The boy’s 36-year-old mother was charged Monday with felony child abuse.
The Associated Press is not naming her to avoid identifying the boy.
Her lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.