Parents accused of keeping Port Charlotte boy in deplorable conditions
7 A.M. — Charlotte County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit detectives arrested the parents of a 10-year-old boy who was reported missing Saturday and later found that afternoon following a massive five hour search by deputies, K9 and an aviation helicopter.
The boy was located by a crime scene technician sleeping in a cabinet under a master bathroom sink in the home at 754 Seabold Ave., Port Charlotte.
When detectives arrived at the scene, they found deplorable conditions in the boys bedroom that led to his parents arrest.
Investigators said the boy came out of his room looking for food and then hid from his parents.
According to a sheriff’s office release:
Detectives said Thomas Anthony Boone, 38, and Kimberly Sue Boone, 39, committed three counts of aggravated child abuse by knowingly and willfully abusing, torturing, maliciously punishing and willfully and unlawfully caging the child victim.
The child was kept alone in his bedroom since December of 2009, only allowed to come out when he went to school or when the family went away.
The child was locked in his bedroom and due to this, he urinated and defecated on the floor in his room and bed.
The child was made to sleep in the urine soaked bed and as a punishment had his face rubbed in the urine and feces.
The search began Saturday after the boy’s father called the sheriff’s office at 11 a.m. to report his son missing and that he was last seen about 10:25 a.m.
The search began immediately in the neighborhood while detectives were called to assist in gathering information inside the home and pass along to the search teams that might help locate the boy.
When detectives began walking through the residence, they saw where the boy slept.
In his bedroom, detectives said was a strong odor of feces and urine; it was bare with no rug on the floor, no toys in the room, no clothing or lights.
The only thing in the room was a box spring and mattress that smelled of urine.
On the floor, detectives said there were numerous areas where you could see human feces and puddles of urine.
The door handle to the boys room was reversed and the lock was facing into the hallway; a latch to secure the door was on the hallway side of the door.
When the crime scene technician photographer found the boy, she said he appeared scared, malnourished and tired.
The boy told her he had fallen asleep in the cabinet after coming out of his room to look for food.
The boy said he has been locked in his room most of the time since December and was only allowed a small drink of water and peanut butter sandwiches.
He also said he was very afraid of his step mother, Kimberly Boone, who married his father last year.
The boy was taken by EMS to Peace River Regional Medical Center and cleared after getting a shower and food.
The boy then met with detectives, a sheriff’s office forensic child interviewer and representatives of the Department of Children & Families.
Following the interview, DCF took the boy into custody and he has been sheltered.
Detectives then met with Thomas and Kimberly Boone separately; they developed probable cause and charged both early Sunday morning with three counts each of aggravated child abuse.
They were transported to the Charlotte County Jail; both posted $15,000 bonds and were released.