Woman forced 5-year-old stepson to sleep in a closet under the stairs and nearly starved him to death
The boy was just given a slice of bread to eat each day, and that too was taken away if he didn't eat it quickly
A 37-year-old Texas woman has been sentenced to 28 years in prison after she starved her five-year-old stepson and forced him to sleep in a tiny closet under the stairs wearing just a diaper, according to reports.
The mother-of-seven, identified as Tammi Bleimeyer, was found guilty of injury to a child by omission on Friday 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.
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, according to the Daily Mail.
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.
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
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.