Texas prosecutors have upgraded charges against a Houston-area woman who stands accused of malnourishing her 5-year-old stepson, according to court documents filed Friday.
The Houston Chronicle reports Tammi Bleimeyer now faces an additional felony charge of first-degree injury to a child.
Bleimeyer and her husband, Bradley Bleimeyer, the boy’s biological father, were arrested in March after authorities discovered the boy in the family’s home. He was severely emaciated and weighed less than 30 pounds, according to a recent KHOU News story.
Both adults were arrested at the time and charged with child endangerment. Bradley Bleimeyer remains in jail on $150,000 bond.
KHOU News reported last year that police found the 5-year-old boy wearing a diaper and locked in a small closet under the stairs in the family’s home.
Police were reportedly called to the house after the boy’s 16-year-old brother discovered him in the closet and confronted the father.
Harris County Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Herman said he had never seen anything like the boy’s condition in his 28 years in law enforcement.
Herman told KHOU that the boy, who has not been named, was malnourished and had bones sticking out with skin peeling off his back.
Child Protective Services took custody of the boy and six other children who were living in the home.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a criminal complaint against the two guardians alleges that their conduct placed the boy "in imminent danger of physical impairment, namely, by failing to provide food.” Authorities said the couple could face more charges in the future, pending review of a doctor’s preliminary report.
As of Saturday, no new charges had been filed against the boy’s father.
Tammi Bleimeyer turned herself in Saturday after an arrest warrant was issued for the new charge. She posted $30,000 bond later in the day and has been released.
Both she and her husband are scheduled to appear in court March 2.
Photo Credit: Police photo, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office via KHOU News