Judge: Handcuffed teen to stay with foster family
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City teenager who was found handcuffed to a steel pole in his basement will continue to stay with a foster family and plans to start attending classes again next week, a court officer said Thursday.
At a probable cause hearing in Clay County, juvenile court officer Alan Gremli urged a judge to allow the 17-year-old to stay with foster parents because the living conditions at his home were dangerous. Circuit Judge K. Elizabeth Davis agreed and set a March 7 hearing to revisit the custody issue.
One of the teen's neighbors, Crystal Anderson, contacted the Missouri Children's Division on Monday and said she suspected the boy was being abused. Kansas City police found him in the dark basement curled in a fetal position, shivering on the cold, concrete floor and appearing frail.
Police spokesman Capt. Steve Young said no charges against the teen's father, stepmother or stepbrother were expected Thursday, and it could be days before anything is filed.
Gremli told The Associated Press on Thursday that since being rescued, the boy has enrolled in school and will start attending next week.
"Prior to the hearing, he talked about how he was doing well at his foster home, and that his foster parents had made homemade pizza the night before," Grimli said. "He's doing well and feels good about where he is."
Anderson, 24, said she had seen the boy handcuffed to a door in his home about two weeks ago, and decided to call authorities after hearing a commotion in the residence the night before.
Investigators arrived at the north Kansas City townhome less than an hour after her call and found the teen, his face "sunken in on the sides and his eyes had a look of desperation," according to the police report.
A Kansas City police officer who responded to the home Monday wrote that the teen repeated, "I didn't do anything" several times. The boy was wearing dirty blue jeans, a dirty, long-sleeved shirt and socks. He had only a few thin blankets to keep warm.
He told investigators he had been kept in the basement since his father took him out of school in late September — first with the door locked and later handcuffed to a bed rail. The teen said in November, after the second time he tried to escape for food, he was handcuffed to the steel support pole.
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