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Missouri boy, 12, escapes from home at night after abusive parents forget to handcuff him to his bed

The boy managed to escape because his parents, Christopher and Nicole Crets, forgot to handcuff him to his bed
UPDATED MAY 17, 2020
(Warren County Sheriff's Department)
(Warren County Sheriff's Department)

WARREN COUNTY, MISSOURI: A 12-year-old boy was found by police walking in traffic after allegedly escaping his abusive parents. The boy was emaciated with bruises covering his face, legs, and arms when he was found on a lonely rural highway in Missouri in the middle of the night on May 2. According to reports, the boy, whose name has not been revealed, told the Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who found him that he packed a bag and fled his house to escape his parents. He said that he managed to escape because that day as his biological father Christopher and 33-year-old step-mother Nicole Crets forgot to handcuff him to his bed.

“He’s very fortunate, he's walking in traffic, he’s just wanting somebody to stop and help them and a state trooper just happened to be the car coming down the highway. It just was an answered prayer for him. It was definitely this boy's time to be rescued,” Warren County Sheriff Kevin Harrison said. Harrison further stated: “It was definitely this boy’s time to be rescued. I mean, when you’re hitting a little guy, or hitting anybody in the face and on the head, I mean’ it’s just a miracle that this boy wasn’t seriously injured…His eyes were swollen, this boy was beaten and tortured at the hands of mom and dad so I’m very happy that he slipped out and I’m glad the trooper was there and my detectives and deputies were able to be part of rescuing him from the situation.”

"It breaks my heart because there's this child is being handcuffed in his own home, and he's being not just abused, but tortured by his parents," the sheriff added.

Both Christopher and Nicole were charged with felony child abuse on May 3; the 40-year-old father has also been charged with kidnapping along with four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. In their defense, the pair said they used to handcuff their child because he was “sneaking” food and candy. They claimed that they were trying to prevent him from eating certain kind of food because he has a medical condition. It has also been said that the boy, who once weighed 115 to 120 pounds, was 74 pounds when he was taken to a hospital by the authorities. He suffered from refeeding syndrome, which is a metabolic condition that can cause seizures, heart failure, fatigue, and confusion due to starvation. Reports claimed the boy was also not going to school for around three months. His parents were allegedly homeschooling him to avoid any chances of teachers or anyone else to see his injuries and weight loss.

The child also told detectives that his parents beat him with their bare hands and a belt in the abuse that reportedly lasted two to three months. When investigators searched the boy’s rural home they discovered handcuffs attached to his bed.

The boy is now in protective custody while his parents are at the Warren County jail awaiting their next court appearance. They are scheduled to appear in court again on May 27.