Ontario boy locked in filthy room for two years

Police Insp. Kevin Heslop speaks about the rescue of a 10-year-old boy held captive for months in...

Police Insp. Kevin Heslop speaks about the rescue of a 10-year-old boy held captive for months in London, Ont., Friday, May 30, 2014. (DEREK RUTTAN/QMI AGENCY)

Jennifer O'Brien QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. — A 10-year-old boy who police say was held captive in a filthy bedroom for up to two years says he wants to go to school.

He also wants regular meals.

“This is a joyful day for us because we found a child and he is alive,” Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex, told a press conference.

Fitzgerald said she is encouraged the child wants to attend school.

The boy was filthy, living in a room filled with feces, urine and fast food wrappers when investigators and child welfare workers found him.

His aunt and uncle in London were his guardians and are now charged with failing to provide the necessities of life and forcible confinement.

“The child is underweight and malnourished. He has quite long hair, down below his shoulders,” London Police Insp. Kevin Heslop said.

Police said the boy had been locked in the master bedroom for 18 to 24 months — fed fast food twice a day — when CAS received a tip and called police.

Investigators went to the house with CAS workers and found the boy locked in a room, police said.

The boy has since been released from hospital.

Police said the child had access to a toilet and shower, but the bedroom and entire house were in squalid condition.

The accused have a biological child who also lives in the house, but who appears to be functioning normally and to be in adequate health, Heslop said.

The inspector declined to share what the rescued boy told investigators, but mentioned he was confused.

Heslop said police haven’t been in touch with the child’s biological parents. Police believe the boy wasn’t born in Canada and that his parents don’t live in London.

The boy has been in London and in the care of his aunt and uncle since 2010 and has never attended school, Heslop said.

Police are investigating whether there was any physical abuse.

“There was a level of care” because the boy was housed inside and received food, he said, but the boy was locked inside the room.

Heslop didn’t say whether the aunt and uncle have jobs, but said they were away from the house for extended periods of time.

“It is a horrific case and everybody sees it as that,” Heslop said.

Police wouldn’t identify the couple, to protect the identities of both children.

As of Friday night, the couple remained in custody, with no bail hearing set.

— With files by Patrick Maloney and Jennifer Bieman

 


Videos

Photos