The 7-year-old boy who had been locked in a closet by his parents looked like a "Holocaust victim," according to the police officers who discovered 36-pound Isaac Loubriel in a closet surrounded by his own feces and puddles of urine.
Phoenix police officers Ben Baltzer and Christi Carlton were dispatched to the boy's home Sunday after his grandmother called the police department and expressed concern about the boy's well-being.
But the officers weren't prepared for what they found when they opened a small closet.
"His hair was falling out from the malnutrition and he had sores on his arm where he had been balled up in the fetal position in puddles of urine," said Carlton on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "He had dry skin on his back, his skin was falling off," she said.
The parents of the young boy, Melanie Loubriel, 28, and Ricardo Loubriel, 39, say they kept him in the closet because he was misbehaving, police said.
"They told us that Isaac was in there as a form of discipline and that he was being bad and she [Melanie Loubriel] stated again when we got Isaac out of the closet, she said, 'tell him you're from there because you're being bad,'" Baltzer said.
Police say they believe the boy may have been in the closet since January. When he arrived at the hospital he ate fruit, vegetables and cookies after drinking a 20-ounce bottle of water.
The Loubriels are being held in the Maricopa County jail on charges of abusing Isaac Loubriel, who is now in state custody.
Since the shocking discovery, several people have come forward, saying they had called Child Protective Services numerous times on the family.
The Loubriels' former landlord, Samantha Lagarda, 33, said she reported the parents to CPS four times in five years.
"The kids always looked hungry," Lagarda said. "But both the parents were fat. They ate well."
Police say they don't understand why Issac, who was found in nothing but a dirty diaper, was being kept in the closet. Four of the couple's six children lived in the home, but only Isaac was injured.
The four siblings were placed with Child Protective Services. The couple's two other children live with their grandmother.
The officers discovered the boy without help from his mother. She told officers that the lights weren't working as she followed them around during their search of the dark apartment.
"We were told there was only three children in the house when there was supposed to be four," Baltzer said. "Melanie, the mom, she knew that her son was in the closet and grabbed my hand and tried to force my flashlight out of the hand at that point and told me not to flash my flashlight around," he said.
It was then that officers noticed a bed pushed against a closet that was locked from the outside and heard noises inside.
"The smell was outrageous coming from the closet and I was in shock," Carlton said.
Carlton said Isaac appeared listless and didn't say much when they coaxed him out of the closet.
"I asked his name, asked his age," Carlton said. "He could answer me. He could talk. He was just very, very weak. He was shaking quite a bit," she said.
The officers said the parents showed no remorse after Isaac was removed from the closet.
The Department of Economic Security, which oversees CPS, admits that CPS had "prior involvement with the family on numerous occasions." The department says they are reviewing the Loubriel case and CPS procedures to see if any changes need to be made.