WARREN COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) — A boy escaped from an abusive home in Missouri after his parents forgot to handcuff him to his bed, police say.
The 12-year-old boy was walking along the highway with a packed bag when a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper found him.
The boy told the trooper he had escaped from his house because his parents, Christopher Crets, 40, and Nicole Crets, 33, forgot to handcuff him to his bed, according to court documents.
“He’s very fortunate. He’s walking in traffic. He’s just wanting somebody to stop and help them, and a state trooper just happened to be the car coming down the highway,” Warren County Sheriff Kevin Harrison said. “It just was an answered prayer for him.”
Christopher Crets is the child’s biological father, and Nicole Crets is his step-mother. They were both charged with felony child abuse, and Christopher is also also charged with kidnapping and four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The couple told police the boy was “sneaking” food and candy and was being restrained because he had a medical condition.
The 12-year-old told police he used to weigh around 115 to 120 pounds. When he was taken to the hospital by authorities, he weighed 74 pounds. He also suffered from refeeding syndrome, which is a condition that can cause heart failure, seizures, fatigue and confusion because of starvation.
“It was definitely this boy’s time to be rescued…when you’re hitting a little guy or hitting anybody in the face and on the head, I mean, it’s just a miracle that this boy wasn’t seriously injured,” Harrison said. “His eyes were swollen. His forehead was swollen. This boy was beaten and tortured at the hands of mom and dad, so I’m very happy that he slipped out, and I’m glad the trooper was there and that my detectives and deputies were able to be part of rescuing him from the situation.”