A Georgian couple has been arrested after their 10-year-old child, who weighed only 36 pounds, was found walking in their neighborhood toward a grocery store in search of food, reports say.
Tyler and Krista Schindley remained held in the Spalding County Jail on Wednesday after a judge denied bond at a hearing earlier in the week. On Friday, after police responded to a 911 call in Griffin, the couple’s son told officers he was hungry and walking to a nearby Kroger to buy food and asked “please don’t make him go back,” WANF reports.
“As a mother, I can’t comprehend it. As a human being, it breaks your heart,” Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Marie Broder said Tuesday at a press conference, according to Fox5 Atlanta.
“We aren’t releasing any photos of this child for obvious reasons, but I will tell you, the photos are absolutely horrible, and anybody with a human heart who looks at them should be shaken to their core,” she added.
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Jail records show Tyler Schindley, 46, and Krista Schindley, 47, are facing charges that include cruelty to children, attempted murder and false imprisonment, reports say.
“It is my true belief that had he not gotten out of the house, this case would be a very different one,” Broder said Tuesday.
Following his discovery, the boy — whom police described as “thin with discolored skin and visible injuries” — was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for malnutrition and a low heart rate, according to WANF.
The station, citing an affidavit, reported that the couple intentionally kept food away from the child and locked him in his bedroom without access to lights, toilet paper and human interaction, among other basic needs.
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Court documents also suggest the boy suffered “dental injuries” and “disfiguration” as a result of abuse from his parents, WANF reported.
Four other children found inside the Schindleys’ home are currently in the custody of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
A neighbor who lived next door told Fox5 Atlanta she was worried about the children.
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“That’s just horrible. That anyone would be [like] this and by them being my next-door neighbor it makes me wonder if I should have been more observant,” Kim Seigler said to the station.
The boy is now reported to be in stable condition.
Fox News’ Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.