Missouri couple charged for abandoning son, 12, with cerebral palsy and moving to separate house 2 miles away
Janine Allen, 30, and Brendon Luke, 29, were charged with felony abuse or neglect of a child. A Children's Division worker involved with the case said the boy was “increasingly violent” with his family
BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI: A couple has been arrested after they left their 12-year-old disabled son on his own while they shifted to a new house two miles away. Janine Allen and Brendon Luke reportedly returned only periodically to bring food to the boy with cerebral palsy, court records said.
The 30-year-old Allen and Luke, 29, were arrested after authorities found their son in their old home. The house was reportedly covered with feces and was smelling of urine. Both of them have been held on a $250,000 bond each on charges of felony abuse or neglect of a child.
The court records also stated that the police found that the boy was living alone in a Blue Springs home while his parents watched him with an in-home video system from their new house that was miles away. Police also said that the pair’s new home was quite big with a basement large enough to accommodate the boy. The mother, Allen, told witnesses she did not want her son to ruin the walls of their new home.
Home-surveillance footage later obtained by police showed the disabled child, who is bound to a wheelchair, saying, "I want out. I don't like this, mommy." The clip also showed the boy trying for over 20 minutes to get out of his locked room with a small piece of wire, while another video showed the child’s father, Luke, “throwing food on the floor” in his room before leaving the house within six minutes, police stated.
A Children's Division worker involved with the family since October said the boy was “increasingly violent” towards his family members and added that he believed that the minor required residential placement. But since Allen had not completed the necessary paperwork, that was not done, court documents said. The worker also revealed that they did not know that the child had been left alone without any supervision.
Meanwhile, the mother’s attorney P. J. O’Connor claimed that there was more to the case than the arrest affidavit has stated. “I’ve just entered my appearance on the case and there is a lot more to the story than what’s been presented in the probable cause statement. Until I’ve viewed all the evidence I don’t want to comment any further,” the attorney said.
According to reports, the case came into the light after some concerned residents contacted local police saying the helpless child had been left alone in the home for weeks. When an official went to check, Allen reportedly told him through a doorbell camera that the child was fine and she could see him on camera, as per court records. Later, the mother explained to the investigators that the boy was being monitored by her and her husband with the help of a two-way radio and camera that provides alerts of movements and noises inside the house. Allen also claimed that her son knew how to call 911 for help and his phone had her number for an emergency, but police said the child’s phone was not working.
A Children's Mercy clinic told police that the boy is “medically complex” and should not be left alone. While a school resource officer said the child needs help even for basic things, like going to the bathroom, eating, and also while moving.