A Michigan mother was taken into custody on child abuse charges after police learned she frequently locked her 4-year-old autistic son in the closet and would deny him food.
Megan Schug, 23, took her son, Maloyd, in for medical treatment March 22, claiming that Maloyd was "not eating well" and needed minor medical attention, according to WWMT. Prosecutors for the case found Maloyd's condition to be worse than originally reported by Schug.
"Mother claimed she would lock the child in the closet on occasion," said Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert. "Looking at the child, the child had extreme injuries to his buttock, his back, his head, his feet, his toes are black."
Child Protective Services caseworker Michael Zaleski was called to the hospital the night Maloyd was admitted, making the initial report of Maloyd's condition, according to the Detroit Free Press. Zaleski noted abrasions, cuts, and rashes on the boy's body, as well as blackened toes and feet.
"He was very thin to the point he was very sickly," Zaleski said. Court documents also show Zaleski visited the family's home after examining Maloyd, and discovered the only furniture in the house was a couch, a TV, and a TV stand. There were no beds and very little food, and the upstairs portion of the home smelled strongly of human waste.
Detective Ryan Shrunk, who was assigned to the case, said Schug told him they moved into the home in December 2016, and she would routinely lock Maloyd in the closet multiple times a week. He would be left in the closet overnight, often without food and left to soil his clothes. He was eventually made to wear a diaper, which also went unchanged for several days at a time.
Schug also told Shrunk that her live-in boyfriend, Isaac "Mike" Miller, 35, was abusive to Maloyd in particular because he was fathered by another man. Miller was also abusive to another of Schug's four children, also from a different father, and gave preferential treatment to the two that were his.
Schug said she did not try to stop the abuse and never called the police, also noting that Miller had punched her as well as hit her in the head with a broom handle. Schug finally took Maloyd to the hospital after he was "unable to stay awake," Shrunk says he was told.
Schug's other three children were removed from the home shortly after Maloyd was admitted to the hospital and are staying with family members, according to WWMT.
Detroit Free Press reports that Schug is being charged with second-degree child abuse and her trial will resume June 29. Miller has also been charged and will face preliminary examinations June 15.