A frail Missouri teen is in protective custody with a foster family today after being found handcuffed to a steel pole in a basement and claiming that he had been locked up since September. Police said they heard the terrified teen repeating, "I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything," upon hearing their footsteps on the wooden stairs to the basement.
Police in Kansas City, Mo., were dispatched to a home on Monday afternoon to check on a juvenile after a neighbor says she called a child abuse hotline about the teen.
When police arrived at the address, the door was answered by a woman who said she lived there with her husband and 17-year-old stepson.
None of the family members have been identified by police.
When asked where the teen was, the woman said he was downstairs sleeping in his room, according to a police report. The officers said they wanted to let the teen know they were there and the woman said she would go tell him. But the police asked her to stay upstairs while they went to see the boy.
"As P.O. Eickmann and I were walking down the wooden stairs into a dark basement, we heard a voice say, 'I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything,'" Officer Jonathan Stone wrote in his report.
"P.O. Eickmann identified us as the police as I turned on the lights," Stone wrote. "I then observed a thin frail looking male getting out of the fetal position on the concrete floor around a steal [sic] support pole."
The police said they calmed the teen, assured him they were there to help and removed the handcuffs. The boy immediately started rubbing his wrists, police said.
"The Vic [victim] was very thin for his height. His face was sunken in on the sides and his eyes had a look of desperation," the report said. "He was wearing dirty blue jeans, dirty long sleeved shirt and socks. He was shivering and he said he was very cold. He continuously asked for his jacket and shoes. He had only a few thin blankets to lay on and to cover up with as he slept on the cold concrete floor."
The teen told police he had been trapped in the basement since his father took him out of school in September 2012.
The boy said that at first he was just locked in the basement and not fed much, but that sometime in October he had managed to find a way out and get food, which angered someone identified only as "suspect 1" in the police report.
After that escape, the teen said suspect 1 handcuffed him to a bed in the basement. In November, the teen managed to take the bed apart and tried to use the rail to break open the door in order to get food, but he failed.
"This also made Sus1 mad, so Sus1 took the bed out of the basement and handcuffed the Vic's hands around the steal [sic] support pole that held the upper floor joists," the police report said. "This is where he has been ever since."
The teen also described his daily routine to authorities.
He said that at 4 a.m. suspect 1 would come downstairs to let him use the bathroom and eat one pack of instant oatmeal before locking him back up. At 3:30 p.m., suspect 1 would get home from work, let him use the bathroom, give him a packet of Ramen noodles and lock him up again. Some time in the evening, suspect 1 would make a last trip to the basement to give him two bologna sandwiches and a cup of water. He would then be locked up for the night.