The house was covered in feces and urine when the authorities found the boy living alone at the home.
Trigger warning: This story contains details of the abuse of a disabled child that readers may find disturbing
A couple from Kansas City was arrested after authorities found that they had abandoned their 12-year-old disabled son before moving to a new home two miles away. Janine Allen, 30, and Brendon Luke, 29, left the boy with cerebral palsy on his own at their home before moving to a new house two miles away in an incident in Missouri. Court records show that they monitored him using an in-home video system and returned occasionally to give him food. According to court records, the 12-year-old could be seen crying in the video footage and saying "I don't like this, mommy." The kid's father was also caught "throwing food on the floor" for the boy while visiting once, staying no longer than 6 minutes, reported KCRGTV.
The authorities were responding to a complaint from neighbors that the boy had been abandoned at his home. They found the house covered with feces and smelling of urine. The couple was arrested and charged with felony abuse or neglect of a child. Janine Allen and Brendon Luke have been held on a $250,000 bond each. After moving to a new home, the couple watched the kid in the video system while he lived alone in a Blue Springs home. The 12-year-old with cerebral palsy can only move around using his wheelchair. In home-surveillance footage confiscated by the police, the boy can be heard saying, "I want out. I don't like this, Mommy." In the same clip, the boy can be seen trying to unlock with door with a small piece of wire for over 20 minutes.
When the cops visited the couple, Allen told them through the doorbell camera that the 12-year-old was doing fine and that she could see him on camera, as per court records. She also told the investigators that there was no reason to be worried as the boy was being monitored by her and her husband with the use of two-way radio and the in-home video system that provided them with alerts of movements and noises inside the home. She also told the authorities that her son had a phone and was equipped to call 911 for help if he needed any. She claimed that she had keyed in her number in case of an emergency. However, the police told the court that the child’s phone was not working.
Police also stated that the couple's new home was quite big and had more than enough space to accommodate the boy in the basement. The boy's mother, Allen, told witnesses that she didn't want her son to ruin the walls in their new home. A Children's Mercy clinic told authorities that the boy was “medically complex” and should not, under any circumstances, be left alone. A school resource officer who has interacted with the 12-year-old corroborated the clinic's assessment of the boy and said he needed help even for basic things, like going to the bathroom, eating, and also while moving.
A Children's Division worker involved with the family since October claimed the boy was “increasingly violent” towards family members and required residential placement. However, this was not done by the couple as Allen had not completed the necessary paperwork, according to court documents. The worker also confirmed that the couple hadn't informed them about the kid being left alone without any supervision.
The mother’s attorney P. J. O’Connor said it was too early to make a statement on the case but added that there was more to the case than what the arrest affidavit had stated. “I’ve just entered my appearance on the case and there is a lot more to the story than what’s been presented in the probable cause statement. Until I’ve viewed all the evidence I don’t want to comment any further,” said the attorney. Jackson County Family Court obtained emergency custody of the boy but Luke took him to a residential facility in southern Missouri a day later, said the police.
Those experiencing child abuse or know of anyone experiencing child abuse can reach out to (1-800) 422-4453 or (1-800) 4-A-CHILD for help.