A 12-year-old boy was held captive in his own home for years before he was found dead in horrifying conditions. The authorities released more details about his gruesome abuse.
Kept in the bedroom
CrimeOnline reported that responding police officers found a 12-year-old boy dead in a bedroom in his Annville Township home on May 26, 2020. The victim has since been identified as Maxwell Schollenberger.
The boy was found by authorities naked in a bed that was covered in feces, and police observed claw marks on the bedsheets. The windows had been sealed completely shut, there was no electrical light in the room, and natural light can't get in.
The authorities found three metal hooks on the door of the bedroom that they believe were used to keep the child locked in the room and preventing anyone from discovering him.
Maxwell's biological father, Scott Schollenberger, 42-years-old and his wife Kimberly Mauer, 35-years-old have been charged with facing criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children.
The court documents that were obtained by Fox 43 News show that investigators found only one cup with an inch of water in the bedroom.
The documents also show that the child was held captive in the room for years; he was never enrolled in school and had not seen a doctor in more than ten years.
Even the children who lived in the house said that they hardly saw the victim, and one or more children told authorities that they were not aware that the victim even existed.
It is still not clear from the report how many children besides Maxwell lived in the house. Those children, who are the biological offspring of both suspects, appeared to be healthy and cared for. The suspects told the authorities that the victim did not suffer from any mental or physical disabilities.
According to a medical examiner, the child was severely malnourished, with limited muscle mass on all four of his limbs along with weakened bones. At age 12, Maxwell weighed only 47.5 pounds and was 50 inches tall.
Doctor Michael W. Johnson, who performed the autopsy on the child's body, determined that Maxwell died of homicide, noting injuries to the boy's head along with the results of long-term starvation.
The doctor wrote in the autopsy report obtained by Fox 43 News that the 12-year-old boy died as the result of blunt force head trauma complicating starvation or malnutrition.
Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf spoke of he heinous abuse and neglect the boy suffered until his death. The district attorney said that the child existed in a state of perpetual suffering and that he existed in the "most egregious and foul of conditions."
At a news conference Monday, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf spoke of the heinous abuse and neglect the boy suffered until his death.
The district attorney also recounted the events leading to the child's death, including being starved, locked away, and deliberately isolated until his untimely death.
Both suspects are now arrested and being held without bond.