A heartbreaking moment occurred in a court as a 9-year-old boy, hugging his stuffed Paw Patrol Chase dog and a Spiderman action figure, described how his father’s girlfriend locked him up in a basement for at least 9 hours a day, forced him to carry a backpack filled with rocks, and beat him with a wire handle of a flyswatter.
30-year-old Alex Shadlow and his girlfriend 40-year-old Tracy Tyler are being tried on first-degree kidnapping charges.
“Authorities claim the couple ‘intentionally subjected’ the boy to ‘physical and mental torture’ in a 6-foot-by-6-foot area under the basement stairs for at least nine hours a day from July to September 2017. The basement had no light, furniture, or bedding and the boy had to pee in a tin coffee can. He was also never given food while inside the basement, prosecutors said,” The Daily Mail reported.
Police also said that the two allowed the dog to bite the child.
“The boy described being hungry and ‘super cold’ in the basement room. He was afraid because Tyler had told him a dead dog was buried in the room with him. He said he slept sitting up with his arms around his legs to try to keep warm,” according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
The door was locked from the outside, the police said. The child was also barred from the kitchen as the door was locked.
The 9-year-old child, who was abandoned by his biological mother, was put up for adoption. But he was placed with his father and now has permanent scarring on his limbs and back. He also suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder.
A video Tyler took showed the boy desperate to use the bathroom until “he eventually loses control of his bodily function and urinates,” Assistant Attorney General Tyler Buller said.
Ackley Police Chief Brian Shimon said the case ‘makes you sick.’
Susan Brandt, the child’s teacher, said in court: “He looked very pale, he looked very thin and I was very surprised by his appearance. I couldn’t believe that that was the little boy that I knew the year before.”
Principal Teresa Keninger also testified: “He was not the same (boy) I last saw in May. He was not the same (boy) that we knew.”
Child protective worker Carol Allen arrived at the house. Tyler showed her the basement where the boy was staying. Allen saw a puddle and was told it was the boy’s urine.
Allen asked, “Is there a light in there?” but she received a negative response. “What does he sleep on? Pillow, blanket, anything?” Allen said that Tyler told her, “He just ruins those things, so he doesn’t get those things.”
Allen then said: “This is unacceptable. This is abuse.”
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