WATCH: Police in London, Ont. have uncovered a sad story involving a 10-year-old boy who they say had been locked in a filthy room for months and left malnourished and dirty. His aunt and uncle have been charged with forcible confinement. Jennifer Tryon has the details.
TORONTO – A London, Ontario boy allegedly locked inside a filthy bedroom for between 18 and 24 months was discovered by police Thursday and taken to hospital underweight and malnourished.
The 10-year-old boy’s aunt and uncle – his legal guardians – have been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life and forcible confinement.
His parents are not in the country.
Neither the boy, his uncle or aunt has been identified by police.
The London Children’s Aid Society got a tip from a concerned neighbour Thursday afternoon. A Children’s Aid officer visited the home the same day but didn’t think anyone was home until they saw a shadow move behind a curtain.
The officer called police, who then contacted the homeowners and upon entry found the boy alone, locked inside the master bedroom wearing urine-soaked pyjamas.
The boy had access to a toilet and shower, says Det. Insp. Kevin Heslop, but his room was covered in fast-food wrappers, feces and scraps of food.
“There was a lot of packaging from fast food outlets. In the bedroom specifically there was feces, urine, the bed was soaked in urine, as was the child’s pyjamas when the child was found and there was food waste throughout the house,” Heslop said.
“The room, in fact the entire house, was in squalid conditions.”
Watch video: Police and CAS officials release details about the boy allegedly confined to a bedroom.
The boy had been living there since 2010 when his aunt and uncle became his legal guardians, police say. He had never been to school and, as far as police know at this time, was only allowed out of the house for a “brief period of time” in 2013.
Heslop said the boy was fed fastfood twice a day when his guardians would it in the room for him to eat.
Heslop said the boy was confused and “quite pale” when he was found.
The boy was taken to hospital and has since been placed in a foster home.
The investigation is continuing.
Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of the London-Middlesex Children’s Aid Society, said their agency had contact with one of the adults in 2007. She didn’t give any details of the encounter except to say it was a brief encounter regarding another person, who is related to one of the adults, but is no longer living in the house.
There was also a 9-year-old girl living in the house when police arrived but they found no evidence she had been confined to a bedroom.
Watch: Police say they freed a boy from confinement in a bedroom after close to 2 years. Sean Mallen reports.