MercuryNews.com is carrying a story about a boy who has escaped from an apparent captive situation. The article, “Tracy couple arrested after teen with chain on foot says he escaped torture,” reports that the 16-year-old boy has been missing from a foster home since 2007. He was apparently picked up by the Tracy, California, couple.
Neither the boy nor the couple’s names have been released.
The teenager entered a gymnasium wearing only flesh-colored boxer shorts and he was carrying a chain that was padlocked to his ankle, according to the Mercury News.
He had the earmarks of abuse. He had burns and cuts on his back and he was emaciated. Also he was covered with soot, blood, urine and feces.
Another report from ABC7 says the boy is 17. It further updates the story by giving the couple’s names and ages.
When the boy entered the gym he exclaimed “Hide me, hide me, they’re coming to get me!” Staff members gave him water and a banana which he downed quickly.
The Tracy couple has been identified as Michael Schumacher, 34 and his wife Kelly Schumacher, 30.
A neighbor across the street indicated that the boy was always doing chores and was always dirty. The Schumacher’s indicated they were caring for him as a favor to a friend.
The neighbor, Mike Portillo, indicated that his daughters played with daughters of the Schumacher’s and they told him the boy slept in the laundry room on a towel. The girls also told them Mrs. Schumacher once made him eat a dead fly.
This problem started when the boy ran away from the foster home by his own admission.
So far the Schumacher’s have been taken into custody; the teenager has been sent to the hospital and the Schumacher’s daughters are in a foster home.
The article ends by saying “A lot of details have yet to come out in this very disturbing story.” Indeed.
I have questions now. Wouldn’t Portillo’s daughters have continued to post him of the situation? Wouldn’t he wonder where the boy was or if he saw him, wonder why he was dressed so much differently than the Schumacher’s girls?
Of course the big question is why would a couple treat a child like this especially when they had children and were the girls abused as well?
In researching child abuse I find that the Tracy couple fit the classic mode of physical abuse considering the cuts and particularly the burns.
Of course, the real problem starts with the inability of many people in our society to care for their children.