A malnourished and beaten 5-year-old was discovered locked inside a closet in a Spring, Texas, home. The child was reportedly found by his 16-year-old brother on March 27. Authorities said the boy was emaciated, covered in bruises, and wearing nothing but a diaper.
The 16-year old confronted his father, Bradley Bleimeyer, about the child’s condition. However, Bleimeyer became defensive and combative. Authorities were called to the home when the teen and his father began fighting in the front yard.
While the police were en route, Bleimeyer and his wife Tammi reportedly fled the scene with the young boy. Authorities eventually used cell phone records to locate the couple in a Humble motel.
When deputies saw the malnourished 5-year-old they were stunned. Assistant Chief Mark Herman said the child “was severely under nourished, bones sticking out… bumps, bruises… his skin was coming off his back.”
Bradley is currently being held at the Harris County Jail without bond. Tammi was released on $2,000 bond. Following her release, Bleimeyer denied the allegations:
“I think the story has gotten very twisted. There have been things added to it. Things changed. There’s a lot of lies out there.”
Tammie claims she and Bradley are currently separated and living in different homes. Although the boy was discovered inside her home, Tammie said he and his father were just visiting.
The stepmother said she does not believe the 5-year-old was abused and she has no idea why the child is emaciated:
“I have never seen him look like that and I have never seen him with his shirt off recently… I don’t know what caused him to look like that. I don’t know if it’s a health issue or something else like that… I don’t want to be like everyone else and assume the worse.”
KHOU News reports that the 33-year-old stepmother is currently pregnant with her seventh child. She said her other six children are temporarily staying with relatives. Authorities are currently attempting to verify the location and condition of the other children.
Attorney Frank Mann, who represents the 5-year-old’s biological mother, said his client is devastated. As reported by ABC News, Windy Mann filed for custody of her son more than two years ago. However, Bradley Bleimeyer fled town with her son and his location was unknown.
The malnourished 5-year old is currently listed in stable condition. Doctors believe it will take several weeks for him to gain enough strength to leave the hospital.
[Images via Click 2 Houston]