Caroline Woods, the mother of a 7-year-old boy, has been charged with child abuse after someone spotted the boy wearing a soiled diaper outside his home, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Caroline Woods is being held without bail and is alleged to have pummeled her son for years with a baseball bat, extension cord, pole, and any other thing she could lay her sadistic hands on. The boy said the only time he was spared from the severe beatings was when he was locked up in the closet.
The county judge, Adam Bourgeois, had called the abuse meted out by Woods “depraved” and deemed her a “danger to society who would be held without bail.”
Prosecutors say the rescued boy was bleeding profusely from a cut above his left eye and had been locked up in a closet and beaten repeatedly by his 24-year-old mother for two years. A doctor who examined the boy said he carried more physical injuries than the doctor had ever seen on a single person.
The Chicago State Department of Children and Family Services, who have had no prior contact with the family, is now in custody of the 7-year-old boy, as well his 2-year-old sister. The child welfare agency is investigating claims of abuse, neglect, and aggravated battery against Woods and her boyfriend.
Initial investigations have confirmed that the boy was often imprisoned in a closet and never allowed to leave the house. According to court records, his mother’s boyfriend had his genitals burned with a curling iron and made him to sit on top a hot stove. The boy also said he was forced to sit in his feces.
The boy, who appeared severely malnourished, told police that he did not eat every day and only fed on cans of okra and protein shakes. He said his mother and boyfriend installed cameras in the apartment so that they could monitor his movement on their cell phones when they were not home.
The boy had managed to escape from his family’s residence in a high-rise condominium and a Good Samaritan had alerted the police. His mother was arrested when she came back home after seeing on her mobile phone that her son had escaped the house. Police revealed that Wood’s boyfriend, who was privy to the abuse, had not been arrested and was rumored to have moved to California.
Residents of the condominium said they were shocked that Caroline Woods was abusing her son right under their noses. A resident, Betty Riley, who lived two floors below Woods and her boyfriend revealed that the incident begged for belief.
“I can’t believe that happened right here…that poor child he’ll never be right.”
A neighbor who shared the same floor with Woods and her equally abusive boyfriend said she never heard any screams and never set eyes on the boy, but did see Caroline Woods with her daughter often.
“I heard a baby cry, that’s all. I never saw the boy at all.”
The woman did not want to be identified because the boyfriend was still at large.
Ed O’Donnell, an uncle to Woods, said his niece had told him in 2012 that the boy was being sexually abused by a relative. He added that Woods quarreled with other family members over allegations that she was maltreating her grandmother and cut off all contact.
Ed said little was known about his niece’s boyfriend, but that no one liked him because he was abusive and controlling. He said the boy’s innocence had been stripped and the people responsible would be punished.
“He was a bright little boy; really happy, very friendly…I just want to see these two come to justice.”
[Featured Image by Cook County Sheriff’s Office]