Brandy K. Jaynes, of Toquerville, Utah, is accused of locking a 12-year-old boy inside a pitch black bathroom for at least a year, possibly as long as two years, KSL-TV (Salt Lake City) is reporting. The unnamed boy weighed 30 pounds when he was discovered by authorities.
In what authorities are describing as one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen, police were called to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, recently after a doctor on staff there reported a severely malnourished child being brought in for treatment.
The boy had been brought in by his father, who claimed he found him in a locked bathroom at his mother’s (Jaynes’) house. The father said that he found the boy there lying on the floor with nothing but a blanket.
Police served a search warrant on Jaynes’ home, and what they found there defies description.
The bathroom where the boy was found was double-locked from the outside, to prevent the boy from escaping. The floor of the bathroom was covered with feces, and the toilet bowl was so filled with feces that investigators couldn’t see any water in it. Authorities found a few empty bean cans and a spoon in the bathtub; the tub’s drain had been covered with duct tape.
Further, the lights in the bathroom were duct-taped in the Off position, meaning that the boy was imprisoned in pitch darkness, according to a police report via Deseret News.
“The victim’s mother stated her son wanted to sleep in this bathroom. She stated she would occasionally lock her son in the bathroom for his safety when she would leave the house. She also stated she was attempting to feed her son protein drinks to get his weight up.”
The boy was so weak from malnourishment that authorities say he couldn’t have had the strength to stand up and remove the duct tape on his own.
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse said that, by his estimation, the boy had been imprisoned in that bathroom for at least a year, possibly two. He describes it as one of the worst cases of child abuse he’s ever seen; a sentiment echoed by the emergency room doctor who treated him.
“I’ve seen the pictures. They’re horrific. I’ve seen other horrible things, but this is one of those things I’ll never forget. I wish I could unsee it.”
Authorities are still trying to piece together how the boy could have been locked in that bathroom for so long without anyone speaking up about it.
It is not clear, as of this writing, how the boy’s father managed to not notice that his son was locked up for so long. It is also not clear when the father last saw the boy. According to court documents, Jaynes and the boy’s father are married but separated.
The boy was pulled out of school three years ago. Why child welfare authorities did not follow up is unclear.
His two siblings are still enrolled in school; however, they appear to have not reported the abuse taking place against their brother, or were somehow not aware of it. One sibling told cops that the last time he spoke to his brother was six months ago. The two siblings, for their parts, are healthy and show no signs of abuse.
Brandy K. Jaynes, 36, meanwhile, has been charged with child abuse causing serious injury, a second-degree felony.
[Featured Image by Washington County Sheriff’s Office]