Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show child abuse has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this here: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-10-08/study-confirms-rise-in-child-abuse-during-covid-pandemic
Four adults from Indiana have been arrested over the death of a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who had been severely neglected and malnourished.
On Feb. 21, the Vigo County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call about a boy in cardiac arrest at a Fontanet home. The child, Cameron Hoopingarner, was taken to the local Union hospital, where he was declared dead, The Associated Press reports.
Calling the discovery "beyond terrible," Sheriff Greg Ewing said Hoopingarner was blind, severely malnourished and weighed less than 15 pounds.
As a result, sheriff's officials and state police arrested the four adult co-inhabitants of the home, including Cameron's two guardians.
According to My Wabash Valley, Hubert and Robin Kraemer were the designated guardians of the child and had been raising him since he was 3 days old.
Chad Kraemer and Sarah Travioli also lived in the residence with their two children, ages 3 and 5. The minors have since been removed from the home and are in the custody of child protective services.
The biological parents of the victim have been informed of the circumstances of their boy's death. Officials state they will not be delivering a statement about their reactions to the mistreatment and death of the 9-year-old.
According to details released about the case Feb. 22 at a Vigo County Sheriff's Department press conference, Ewing stated all four adults were charged with child neglect resulting in death. Kraemer and Travioli were additionally charged with failure to report child neglect.
"It makes me mad, makes me mad that somebody could do this to a child, let alone a child that has physical handicaps and was blind … was given to a guardian to take care of. And this is how he gets treated? This is what he deserves? To be starved to death? What kind of animals are they?" Ewing stated, WTHI-TV reports.
He further said the pictures taken of the home scene reminded him of those taken of prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.