Thursday, July 10 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-07-10 21:20:32 GMT
(WMC) - Police have arrested Kenya and Melvin Bloomingburg, who were booked into jail Wednesday at 7 p.m. A couple by the same name are the adoptive parents of the child found chained inside a backyardMore >>
An 8-year-old child who was chained up called 911 for help and now his adoptive parents are behind bars on child abuse charges.More >>
Friday, July 4 2014 12:47 PM EDT2014-07-04 16:47:48 GMT
(WMC) -The Memphis Police Department said on Thursday it found a child restrained in a home. Earlier on Thursday they received a call from a sibling that said her brother needed help at 5640 GaywindsMore >>
On Thursday, Memphis police say they found a child chained up in a backyard shed. Six children were removed from the home in the 5600 block of Gaywinds Avenue.More >>
(WMC) - The 8-year-old boy found chained up to a wall in an upstairs bedroom called for help himself, according to police. Now, his adoptive parents are the ones who are locked up.
Doctors at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital diagnosed the boy with skin abrasions, scarring, ulcers, and malnutrition, suggesting "these findings constitute severe child abuse."
According to the affidavit of complaint, the boy told investigators that his parents regularly denied him food. He said they once chained him up in the backyard shed for days and when he was chained inside, he had to sleep on a dresser.
Neighborhood children told WMC Action News 5 on Friday that they had witnessed it before.
"When I looked through the window, I saw [boy's name] using the restroom in the dresser in his room," said one neighborhood kid. "I said, '[boy's name], come here.' He said, 'I can't because my dad has the key.' I said, 'Why you chained up?' He said, 'I don't know.'"
Neighbors say several months ago, the boy walked away from home to a gas station located several blocks away. He went inside and asked for food. An employee at the gas station called police.
Memphis Police Department tells WMC Action News 5 that when they arrived, they did not notice anything suspicious. They returned the child home and did not write up a memo or file an incident report.
Kenya Bloomingburg's bond is set at $25,000. Melvin Bloomingburg's bond is set at $75,000. Both are due in court again on July 17.
Friends of Melvin and Kenya are coming to their defense.
"They have been just such a wonderful family," said Brandie Grant, who has known the couple for a decade.
Grant can't fathom them being in court, facing child abuse charges.
"This was just a total shock to me, and I just want them to know that I'm here to support them until I get the full truth," she said.
Investigators say the Bloomingburg's have long acted as foster or adoptive parents. Six children lived in the home with them.
"I told them that they were very special people because when they took those children in, like I said, they sent them to private schools," said Grant. "They put them in sports. They supported them. They had good Christmas ... I've always asked her [Kenya], 'Where do you find the patience to do all of this?' And she just says, 'I was an only child, and I never wanted my children to be lonely,' so she was very supporting when it came to her children."
Grant continued, "Trust me, I go into rage when it comes to children being abused, and when I think of those two in an abuse with a child, it just doesn't go in the same sentence."
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