Daniel And Michelle Schliessman of Chillicothe, Missouri, are the parents of a 14-year-old son who is afflicted with autism. The boy has been found several times alone, outdoors, wandering obliviously into potentially dangerous, even deadly situations. But as police discovered after the latest incident earlier this week, the Schliessman parents are simply to busy to keep an eye on him.
After all, they’re too busy getting high on meth.
At least, that’s what police say they found after they received calls on Sunday from neighbors reporting that the autistic teen was running naked and alone down Fair Street in Chillicothe, a town of about 9,500 in Livingston County, Missouri. One thing is certain. The couple certainly weren’t spending much time with housekeeping.
After corralling the boy, the officers took him back to his parents’ home, about eight houses down from where the teen was seen running around naked in 48-degree weather.
What they found when they got there was absolutely shocking.
According to a KCTV report, the police found that Daniel Schliessman, 45, and his wife Michelle, 37, had three other children — a 15-year-old girl, a six-year-old boy, and a baby girl who is not yet two years old.
But the conditions in the home were not fit for children — or adults. Or even animals.
“Inside the residence, dog feces, cat feces and vomit from dogs and cats were found in multiple areas of the house on the floor, including the children’s bedrooms,” the investigators stated in court documents. “All four children were dirty and it appeared the children had not bathed for an extended period of times.”
The kids did not even own toothbrushes, and had untreated insect bites on their legs. The 15-year-old girl also had open sores on her arms.
But it wasn’t just the kids who were afflicted by the horrifying and unsanitary conditions. Michelle Schliessman also had open sores on her body.
According to a WDAF-TV report, police said that both parents were methamphetamine users. They said that Michelle admitted using the debilitating and deadly drug regularly during her husband’s recent seven-month stint behind bars.
Investigators also found materials used in “cooking” meth in the house. When they brought the boy back to the home, both Daniel And Michelle Schliessman were asleep in their basement and had no idea that the autistic boy was out in the street — and it was far from the first time.
“It’s hard to say exactly what the parents were doing, but we knew because of the fact that the autistic child has wondered off at least eight times in the past and almost got hit by cars on the highway,” said Chillicothe Police Officer Joshua Miller. “We had to get the state involved because we’re concerned about the boy’s safety.”
Why the home was not investigated after any of the previous seven times the autistic boy was found alone outside — including one in which he darted in and out of traffic on a major interstate highway — was not revealed. Social workers took custody of all four children after Daniel And Michelle Schliessman were arrested and charged with felony child endangerment, as well as drug offenses.
[Image: Livingston County Sheriff’s Office]