Step-siblings of 5-year-old who was starved by stepmother say they sneaked him bread to keep him alive
When police showed up at their Spring house, Bleimeyer, who was six months pregnant at the time, took Jordan with her and refused to return to the house.
The step-siblings of a five-year-old boy who was starved, forced to wear a diaper and was locked in a cupboard under the stairs by his step-mother in Harris County, Texas, have said that they used to sneak the child bread in an effort to keep him alive. One of the siblings ultimately alerted the authorities about his parents' ill-treatment of the child.
The mother-of-seven, identified as Tammi Bleimeyer, was found guilty of injury to a child by omission last week for forcing Jordan Bleimeyer, now nine years old, to sleep in the dingy space, what the family called the "Harry Potter room." Jordan's father, Bradley Bleimeyer, pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2016 and was imprisoned for 15 years, reports state.
The incident first came to light in March 2014 when one of Bleimeyer's son, 16 years old at the time, reported her to authorities.
He told officials that his mother and his 24-year-old stepfather were abusing Jordan and was forcibly making him wear a diaper. Reports state that the tiny crawlspace under the stairs, where Jordan slept, had exposed nails and wirings, which surrounded the single mattress.
It took almost 5 years, but a Spring woman, Tammi Bleimeyer, has been sentenced to 28 years for starving her five-year-old stepson..."locking him away in a crawlspace under the stairs the family dubbed the “Harry Potter Room,” prosecutors announced Monday. #khou #HTownRush pic.twitter.com/DXtmJKYJfE— The Bishop (@BillBishopKHOU) December 11, 2018
Doctors who examined the boy, who only weighed 29 pounds at the time, said that the child was nearly starved to death and compared his state of malnourishment to a Holocaust survivor
Jordan's siblings, Allison and Cody, on Monday recalled the moment when they opened the cupboard to let Jordan out and called the police, saving their step brother's life.
Cody said that when he opened the closet one day and he found the state Jordan was in, he "freaked out."
While talking to Sun Online, Cody said: "His face was all caved in, bruises all over, marks on him. His mouth was foaming. I have never in my life seen anything as bad as that. If we hadn't got him out that day I don't think he would have survived." Cody added that he handed Jordan to his sister Allison to comfort him while he called the authorities.
"It was like I wasn't holding anything - he was so light - it wasn't like holding a kid at all. He was so, so white and his cheeks were sunken and he smelled terrible - it was just awful," Allison said, adding that usually when their mother wasn't looking, they would sneak bread to Jordan before they gathered enough courage to rescue him.
The siblings said that their parents were furious on the day they rescued Jordan, reprimanding them for opening the closet door without their permission, adding that they felt compelled to save the boy after witnessing the condition he was in.
When police showed up at their Spring house, Bleimeyer, who was six months pregnant at the time, took Jordan with her and refused to return to the house. According to KTRK, investigators then tracked her cellphone records to a nearby motel where they found the boy with Bleimeyer. When officials found Jordan, he was covered in bruises and bumps and was severely underweight.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where a pediatrician said that the child had been subjected to "severe physical abuse and habitual starvation." Doctors said that if Jordan had not been rescued, he would have died within days.
According to prosecutors, Jordan was not allowed to eat at the dinner table with his siblings, who were all Bleimeyer's children, and was only given a slice of bread per day to eat.
The stepmother reportedly even took that slice away if he did not eat it quickly. Jordan was also allegedly drugged by his father when guests were over, to keep him quiet. The 16-year-old who reported his parents to the authorities also said that he believed someone had slammed his head into the wall and also stunned him with a Taser, according to reports.
The mother was arrested and charged in February 2015. She was subsequently sentenced on Monday after 10 days of testimony. While Jordan has since been reunited with his biological mother, Wendy Hall, CPS has taken custody of Bleimeyer's other children; he newborn is under foster care.