POST FALLS, Idaho -- A mother and father are in jail facing charges for abusing their 6-year-old son.
Court documents said Joy Anderson and Melvin Bledsoe took their son to the Post Falls Emergency Room on October 8, because the boy’s lips were turning blue and his stomach was bloating. The next day the boy was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center.
A Health and Welfare worker had contacted law enforcement on October 11 to report the boy’s injuries, according to court records. The Health and Welfare worker told police the boy’s injuries were severe and his parents had two different stories about how the boy hurt himself.
Anderson told officials the boy crashed his bike into a pole and Bledsoe said he fell and hit his stomach on a rock while playing in a canal, according to court records.
Court documents showed the boy had injuries all over his body. Doctors told police the boy’s pancreas was split in half and they had to do surgery to repair it. There were also injuries to the boy’s head, hip/buttock/thigh area, torso, arms and dried blood was found on his penis. Court documents said medical professionals also said the boy was malnourished and had been spitting up and defecating fluff possibly from a pillow. They believe he may have eaten parts of a pillow because he was hungry, court documents stated.
Safeguards were then put in place at the hospital so that only medical, Health and Welfare and law enforcement would be allowed around the child, said court records.
Court documents said when police interviewed Bledsoe, he said he had been living with Anderson for five or six months and they were the boy’s main caregivers. Bledsoe told police the child had not seen a doctor in six months and he was diagnosed with Opposition Defiance Disorder, court records showed. He said on October 6, the boy had hurt himself at the canal and the next day he had crashed his bike into a pole. When the officer started asking Bledsoe about the boy’s injuries he started describing him as “clumsy” and that he “trips and falls over nothing,” court documents stated. He was then told to leave the hospital due to the safeguards in place.
Court documents said Bledsoe was previously charged with injury to a child back in 2012 for repeatedly slapping his son when he was just 9-months-old.
Court documents said police interviewed some of the couple’s neighbors. One neighbor told police that the boy was treated badly by his parents and had seen the child tied to his bed face down, said court documents. The neighbor said when he would babysit the child he would “eat like a horse” and felt he had suffered from starvation.
On October 18, court documents said officers visited the boy in the hospital. The child was able to walk and was playing with toys but was still receiving medical attention. Court documents said the boy is expected to be ok.
Court documents said when the officer asked the boy about what happened to him he said, “Nothing happened, nothing happened at home.” The officer noted in court documents that his response sounded rehearsed and he believed the boy had been told not to say anything.
The boy told the officer he is the only one out of his parents’ four children that gets spanked because he “gets in a lot of trouble,” court documents said. According to court records, the boy said he is forced to pull his pants down for spankings and his dad usually uses a belt. He said he is not allowed to cry at home and he is made to go to his room and get into bed, according to court documents.
The officer then asked the boy if he had ever been hit in the stomach. According to court documents, the boy said his mother would use her feet to stand on his stomach and yell at him to shut up. He told the officer she had done this twice. Court records showed the boy told the officer he didn’t feel safe with his mother but felt like his dad “protects him.”
A nurse told police that Anderson had mentioned stepping on her son prior to the boy telling police about the incident, court documents said.
Court document said the children’s babysitter told police that Anderson’s daughter had told her that she saw her mother “stomp” on her brother and that she saw the whole thing. The girl told her babysitter, “But my mommy told me that when the cops ask me what happened I say I don’t know and I don’t tell the cops the truth.”
Then on October 19, police served a search warrant at Anderson and Bledsoe’s apartment. Anderson was then arrested and booked into the Kootenai County Jail. She is being charged with injury to a child, aggravated battery and criminal conspiracy. She is being held on $50,000 bond.
Bledsoe was later arrested on October 27 on two charges of cruelty to children. He is being held in the Kootenai County Jail on $200,000 bond.