Teen found starving, living in barn, family members arrested

U.S. & World

CHANDLER, OK (WCMH/AP) — Authorities say a malnourished 15-year-old Oklahoma boy who survived by eating sticks, leaves and grass has been found living in a barn, and four embers of his family have been arrested for child neglect.

The Oklahoman reported Thursday that Lincoln County assistant District Attorney Adam Panter said the boy weighed 80 pounds July 12, when he was found sharing the barn with goats, rabbits and chickens.

The teen is hospitalized.

“At one point his father had pulled maggots out of him and superglued it shut, telling him that doctor’s were too expensive to take him to,” Panter told KFOR

That’s not all the teen claims.

“He been shot by his dad with a shotgun with birdshot and X-rays revealed he did have shotgun pellets still lodged in his leg,” Panter said.

The boy’s name and condition haven’t been released. Panter says the 15-year-old was in such poor condition, doctors are surprised he survived.

Panter says the boy’s father, stepmother and two older brothers have been arrested on child neglect warrants. Court records don’t indicate formal charges have been filed.

Patner said four adults and a 4-year girl lived inside the hous. All appeared healthy and well fed. Panter also says the animals were also in excellent health.

“He had to forge for his own food,” Panter said. “He wasn’t allowed food from inside the house.”

The victim — forced to eat twigs and grass — sleep on an old ratty couch — and he only had one book to keep him entertained.

“The doctors at O.U. Children’s Hospital after treating him and testing him and evaluating him determined that have he not been found he would have been dead of starvation within a week,” Panter said.

The victim was taken out of school two years ago.  

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services declined to comment on the case.

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