Pennsylvania boy, 12, starved and beaten to death by family 'existed in a state of perpetual suffering': DA

Making new revelations in the case, the district attorney said the boy's siblings were reportedly 'told to ignore him and not talk to him'


                            Pennsylvania boy, 12, starved and beaten to death by family 'existed in a state of perpetual suffering': DA
(Police mugshot)

A 12-year-old boy in Pennsylvania was reportedly found beaten and starved to death in his family home when authorities found his body covered in feces, reports state. The district attorney made new revelations in the case on Monday morning, September 14, saying that the boy's siblings were reportedly "told to ignore him and not talk to him."

Maxwell Schollenberger's father Scott Schollenberger Jr., 42, and the father's fiancée Kimberly Maurer, 35, have both been arrested in the case and charged with homicide. The couple reportedly has three other children together. Maxwell's lifeless body was found by authorities on May 26 this year. Lebanon County DA Pier Hess Graf, in a press conference on Monday, said: "This tiny 12-year-old boy never knew the unconditional love from a family. Max Schollenberger existed, I will not call this living. He existed in a state of perpetual suffering."

The DA added that the boy's suffering lasted years at his family's Annville home on South White Oak Street. The boy was reportedly kept in his room, which was dark and bare with the door always locked from outside. Graf added that the blinds on the windows of Maxwell's room were shut with duct tape and the shutters on a window by his bed were nailed closed. She said that there was not a single electric light, not one toy and no furniture in his bedroom other than a bed which was caked with feces. He reportedly never went to school or received medical care.

Graf said that the police were alerted after Maurer told a neighbor about Maxwell's death. "By the time of his death he was in that room 24 hours a day, seven days a week," the DA added. Graf, while talking of the couple's other children, said: "Those children went to the doctor and those children went to school," adding that none of them were malnourished or abused. "Every other room (in the house) was normal. There was an abundance of food…and that food went to every other person in the household, except for Max Schollenberger," she said.

The DA continued, saying that it appeared that the 12-year-old was only given table scraps to eat when he was fed at all. When the boy died, he was reportedly in such a state that he could not digest food. The boy, who weighed around 47 pounds, was too weak to walk or stand. The cause of Maxwell's death was pronounced as malnutrition and head trauma, according to investigators in the case.

Graf said that the other children in the house told investigators that whenever the adults entered their brother's room, Maxwell "would scream and cry." No motive of why the child was treated inhumanly has yet been established in the case. She added that the couple's children are currently in the care of the county Children and Youth agency, while Schollenberger and Maurer are in the county prison without bail. Schollenberger added that the death penalty will not be sought against the couple. 

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