Crime: Malnourished teen escapes Crestline home; couple charged - PressFrom - US

CrimeMalnourished teen escapes Crestline home; couple charged

20:05  12 september  2019
20:05  12 september  2019 Source:

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Malnourished Crestline teen escapes Crestline home ; father and stepmother allowed him to eat only almonds, bananas and grapes for the past three years. CRESTLINE - A 13-year-old Crestline boy told police he was afraid he'd starve to death when he escaped his home on Aug.

Malnourished 13-year-old boy weighing 65 pounds escapes from Ohio home ; parents charged . BUCYRUS, Ohio – A Ohio couple faces an array of felony charges after their malnourished Parents John P. and Katrina Miller of Crestline were indicted by a Crawford County grand jury on one

CRESTLINE - A 13-year-old Crestline, Ohio, boy told police he was afraid he'd starve to death when he escaped his home on Aug. 24, crawling out of a window that had been screwed shut.

Malnourished teen escapes Crestline home; couple charged© Jason J. Molyet/News Journal 116 Patterson St., Crestline, is owned by John P. and Katrina Miller, according to the Crawford County auditor's office.

Wednesday, Crestline Sgt. Aaron Gibson said the teenager, who the newspaper is not publicly identifying, told officers in an interview that he felt he would not be alive now if not for the school lunches he ate when he was in public school. The teen was currently being home-schooled.

After crawling out of the window, he walked part of the way to his grandparents' home in Galion before a family friend picked him up on U.S. 30 and took him first to McDonald's and then the rest of the way to safety, he told police.

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The boys' parents, John P. and Katrina M. Miller, each have been indicted by a Crawford County grand jury on one count of kidnapping, a first degree felony; one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; two felony counts of child endangerment, one second-degree, one third-degree; and a first-degree misdemeanor count of child endangerment, Crawford County Prosecutor Matt Crall said.

If convicted on all counts, they face up to 22 years and 6 months in prison, he said.

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John Miller, the boy's biological father, also was indicted on a charge of domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor, based on allegations that "the father committed assault on the child when he wouldn't eat the way they told him to eat," Crall said. John Miller faces an additional six months in prison if convicted on that charge.

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The teen's grandfather, Allen Miller of 305 W. Church St., called the Galion Police Department on Aug. 24 to get the boy medical help.

In the phone call made to Galion police, which Galion police Chief Brian Saterfield released to the News Journal on Wednesday, Miller said his grandson had run away from his father.

"He did this a couple years ago and nothing ever came of it and (Morrow County) Children Services didn’t do anything about it then," Miller said in the call. "He’s looking pretty sickly and we haven’t seen him for a while. He’s looking really bad. We need to get him medical attention, but we want Children Services involved. We wanted to call you because it’s the right thing to do."

The 911 dispatcher said, "What do you mean when you say looking sickly?"

The grandfather said, "Well, his hair is real thin and falling out. He’s skin and bone. He’s afraid he’s going to starve to death; it’s what he told us."

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After interviewing the teen , investigators went to the residence and contacted her parents, identified as They looked to be malnourished and filthy, authorities said. The department did not say how long the One neighbor told KTLA that residents in the area didn't know what was going on in the home .

“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.” The children’s parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and each charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts Six of the couple ’s children are minors, while the other seven are over 18, police said.

The dispatcher then asked: "You said this had happened before?"

Grandfather: "Yeah, a couple years ago. He walked in from Iberia on 309 and this time he came in from Crestline. Someone picked him up on the highway and brought him."

Contacted Wednesday by phone, Allen Miller said he and his wife have custody of the teen's biological mother's two daughters and also a third girl, the 3-year-old daughter of the biological father.

"He (the victim) ran away because he didn't want to die," Allen Miller said. "We're just happy he's going to be safe. We haven't seen him in three years because the biological father wouldn't let us see him."

Miller said he doesn't know why the couple were starving his grandson.

"I think they're nuts. I don't care. You don't do that to kids," he said.

Gibson said the teen told officers he had been on the rigid diet of almonds, bananas and grapes for the past three years and had to eat what he was given within 30 minutes.

"They (the couple) were getting diet advice from a doctor in Florida," Gibson said.

Gibson said the teen had gone to public school but told officers that his father and stepmother took him out of public school because of their religious beliefs.

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The parents could face charges including torture and child endangerment. The couple is expected to be arraigned Thursday, so prosecutors have until then make a decision, he said. The couple 's middle-class neighborhood is a new tract housing development of ranch-style homes located about

Gibson said the teen, who weighed 62 pounds when he was found, is currently a patient at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.

"In my 11-year career, this is one of the saddest things I've ever seen," Gibson said. "He (the victim) is very smart and very creative. He would create (things) from his room.

"He was smart enough to know he had to go and get help."

Gibson said the teen told officers his parents had a camera positioned toward the refrigerator but after getting a search warrant, Gibson said officers could not find the camera. The victim told officers his father would eat regular food and his stepmother was a vegan.

Gibson said Crestline police officers went to the Miller residence that day to arrest the couple. He said the Patterson Street home smelled of cat urine and had cat hair everywhere.

Gibson and the grandfather who called Galion police both confirmed that the teen had tried to run away a couple years ago, the occasion when his grandfather Miller said the teen walked from his home in Iberia.

No one answered the door at the Millers' two-story, white-framed home at 116 Patterson St., Wednesday morning.

A neighbor, Lorma Iams, said she gave the family a new bicycle for the boy when they moved in the neighborhood, but said she never saw him outside riding it.

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The California couple have been arrested after authorities found a dozen malnourished siblings held captive in their home , some shackled in the dark to One of the children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped from the house in Perris, Calif. on Sunday and dialed 911 on a cellphone she grabbed from the home

The teen told authorities she and her siblings were held captive by their parents.

"I just saw them (John P. and Katrina Miller) outside," she said.

Iams' daughter, Glenda Moses of Ontario, said her mom did take over the bicycle. She took over clothes for the child.

"He was always hiding," she said. "We used to see him get off the Crestline school bus. But all the blinds were down every day. The woman never left the house; the man did. The boy always wore the same long-sleeved black shirt and sat in the backyard," Moses said.  Moses said the family moved in the house on Patterson Street about two years ago.

On Tuesday, Crall explained the charges filed against John P. and Katrina Miller.

"Normally, you don't think of kidnapping as involving someone's own child," Crall said. "But when you knowingly restrain the liberty of another person for the purpose of terrorizing or to inflict serious physical harm — that's what happened in this situation. That's what we're alleging; that he was kept there, he had attempted to flee once before, he was fleeing when he was found, and he was emaciated to the point of having been terrorized, and to the point where he's going to be hospitalized for quite some time."

The felonious assault charge is for "failing to provide nutrition," Crall said of the allegations. Normally, people don't think of an assault as being a failure to do something, but "the statute and the interpretation of it does include omitting doing a duty ... which causes serious physical harm."

The third-degree felony count of child endangerment deals with abusing a child and causing serious physical harm; the second-degree count relates to torturing or cruelly abusing a child, Crall said.

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They then visited the home and rescued a dozen starving young people who were chained inside "The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty." Of the 13 victims, seven were between the age of The six children, including the 17-year-old who escaped , are being treated at the Riverside

"They did go to church," Crall said. "The child was very self-conscious about the way he looked, and he would wear multiple sets of clothing to cover up the fact that he looked the way he did."

The teen is expected to remain at Nationwide Children's Hospital for at least three to four weeks and was being treated for failure to thrive, severe malnutrition and refeeding syndrome, Crall said.

"It's when the body rejects food just because it's a foreign substance at that point," Crall explained. "They're not used to it, so they have to re-introduce food to the child."

As an infant, the child had had leukemia or some other childhood cancer, Crall said, but had not received follow-up care in quite some time. Children's Hospital officials told him that normal care would include periodic checks to make sure the cancer had not returned, but that had not happened.

The Millers were arraigned Monday in Crawford County Common Pleas Court. Bond was set at $500,000 in both cases. They are listed as the owners of the Patterson Street house on the Crawford County Auditor's website, which lists the value of the land and building at $47,890.

Bucyrus attorney J. Andrew Motter, who is representing both Millers, did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

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This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Malnourished teen escapes Crestline home; couple charged

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