One of the saddest cases of neglect I've ever heard, Not sure how this could happen.
An injured and starving 15-year-old boy was within days of death when investigators found him at a Lincoln County farm, a prosecutor said Thursday.
The boy has been hospitalized, and four of his family members are jailed in a child neglect case, authorities reported Thursday.
Investigators found the boy July 12 at a farm at 101529 S 3470 Road, where he was made to sleep in a barn with goats, rabbits, chickens and other animals. When Lincoln County investigators found the boy, he was severely malnourished and had several broken bones, shotgun pellets in his leg and head wounds, authorities said.
The boy also had been eating sticks, leaves and grass, and weighed about 80 pounds, said Lincoln County First Assistant District Attorney Adam Panter.
"He was malnourished and had suffered abuse," Panter said. "Doctors said he was within a week of death."
Investigators discovered the boy after a concerned passerby noticed him outside and called the state Department of Human Services hotline. DHS investigators contacted the district attorney's office to assist, Panter said.
The boy's brothers, identified as Jonathan Luke Plank, 20, and Tyler Joe Adkins, 24, as well as the boy's father, Jimmy Lee Jones Sr., 34, and stepmother, Amy A. Jones, 46, have been jailed on child neglect complaints. Jimmy Jones also faces a complaint of child abuse by injury. The case remains under investigation, Panter said.
When investigators located the boy, "obvious wounds were apparent to the top of the child's head," an investigator wrote in a court affidavit.
The boy said the wounds on his head had become infected with maggots and his father "treated this by digging out the maggots and closing the wound with superglue," according to the affidavit.
The boy also said his father had shot him in the leg with 12-gauge shotgun about a year ago, authorities reported. Several pellets of birdshot were found in one of the boy's legs, according to the affidavit.
Investigators reported the boy was "underweight in the extreme" while other members of the residence appeared well fed.
"The child described having not been allowed to leave the property ... for approximately two years," according to the affidavit.