A Philadelphia woman was arrested after she abandoned her 21-year-old quadriplegic son for five days in the woods with nothing but a blanket and a Bible.
The young man was found on Friday in Cobbs Creek Park, lying underneath a soaking wet blanket and a pile of leaves in the woods. He was reportedly 10 feet away from his wheelchair at the time, and had a Bible on his chest. His mother, 41-year-old Nyia Parler, allegedly abandoned him at the park around 10 a.m. on Monday before boarding a bus to visit her boyfriend in Maryland.
After locating an aunt of the victim, authorities were able to contact the man’s mother, who initially lied about her son’s whereabouts. “She indicated to both family members and police officers the child was with her down with her boyfriend in Maryland,” Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker said.
Parler was taken into police custody on Sunday morning and faces charged of aggravated assault, simple assault, neglect of a care-dependent person, unlawful restraint, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
The young man, who is nonverbal and suffers from cerebral palsy, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and malnutrition. Additionally, he sustained a cut on his back that was at risk of infection and may have suffered damage to his eyes from the rain and cold temperatures. His condition was last reported to have stabilized.
“This kid's obviously a fighter,” Walker said. “It's just unbelievable how we found him out there ... It's absolutely heartbreaking to see another human, especially a mother, can treat someone like that.”
Neighbors who spoke with reporters said that while they didn’t know Parler or her son personally, they were appalled by the horrific situation.
“Only a monster — that's your blood, that's your son, you gave birth to him,” neighbor Keyneah Lane said.
According to reports, Parler’s 16-year-old son was also placed in the care of family members following the incident.