HELENA, Ala. — A 14-year-old boy weighing about 55 pounds is fighting for his life after police say he spent up to two years locked in the basement of his Alabama home.
Al.com quotes Shelby County authorities as saying that the child is in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital. The report also says his adoptive parents, Richard and Cynthia Kelly, have been charged with aggravated child abuse. Bond for each is set at $1 million.
Police were alerted to the case when the boy arrived at the hospital in critical condition.
According to arrest warrants, the couple is accused of denying food, nourishment and medical care to the boy, who was “subjected to forced isolation for extended periods of time.”
The boy was frequently seen by neighbors mowing the lawn, WVTM reports. Neighbors said they believed he was 8 or 9 years old because of his small size.
WVTM reports the boy was not enrolled in school, but was homeschooled.
The Helena Police Department said in a Facebook post that the boy “The victim continues to get medical care and we at the Helena Police Department wish him a speedy recovery and our prayers are with him.”
Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar says it’s the worst case of neglect he’s ever seen.
AL.com reports the couple has another adopted child who is now an adult. They say the adult is fine and also lives in the home.
Police refused to comment further on the case due to the child’s age and suspected crime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.