A 4-year-old boy told investigators he’d been locked in a closet for hours at a time in a meth-filled house in Harris County, Texas — and that his “friends” were the “rats and roaches” that visited him, KTRK-TV reported.
The boy was found in the house Dec. 20 when Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office deputies served a search warrant there on suspicion that meth was being made in and sold from the residence, the station said.
Tests run on the boy show he was exposed to meth, an attorney appointed to represent the boy’s interests told KTRK.
“The detail on this case is very awful,” Rachel Leal-Hudson — the boy’s attorney Ad Litem — told the station. “This is a 4-year-old child who has seen things an adult should not have seen.”
She added to KTRK that the boy “can articulate some things that are really shocking and surprising that tell us he was in there for a quite a length of time.”
The 4-year-old told investigators he was locked in a closet, the station reported, and court testimony noted he was “…not allowed out of it for hours at a time.” He also told investigators “…his friends…” were the “…rats and roaches…” that would visit him, KTRK reported.
The boy also told authorities he was forced to sit atop a tall refrigerator as punishment for sneaking out of the closet, the station added, and that he said he was afraid he would nod off and fall.
What else did investigators find inside the house?
- Investigators found a “substantial amount of meth” inside the rented house along with “some marijuana,” according to a Facebook video by the constable’s office.
- “Rat feces” were found inside the house, which “smelled horrible,” the video added.
- The boy’s bed was inside a tiny closet, and “drug and sex paraphernalia” were spotted “just a few feet from where he slept.”
- A woman who wasn’t the 4-year-old’s mother was taking care of him.
What’s the story with the boy’s parents?
- The boy’s mother wasn’t home at the time of the raid, KTRK said, but she was arrested when she came home and is charged with endangering a child.
- April Burrier told investigators someone else was taking care of her son, the station added, noting that she was too high or otherwise intoxicated to tell them where that person was or how to get in touch with the individual.
- The boy’s father was in court Tuesday trying to get back custody of his son, KTRK reported, adding that he said he’d left the child with his mother just after Thanksgiving.
- Robert Dehart claimed he didn’t know his son would go through what he did, KTRK added.
- “I just want to get him back,” Dehart said, the station reported. “I just want to get him back home.”
- The father has a history of drug convictions and prior dealings with Child Protective Services, KTRK said, adding that authorities said he had refused to submit to a drug test until Tuesday.
What happened to the boy?
- At the scene of the raid, deputies gave the boy a big teddy bear and tried to keep his spirits up.
- He was placed in temporary foster care, and a judge on Tuesday granted CPS temporary custody of him, the station reported.
KTRK added that investigators are still searching for Daniel Clark Morris III, who was allegedly making and selling the meth out of the house where the boy was found.
(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)