If you would like to provide donations, cars, or letters for the 12 year old please contact the
Washington County Children’s Justice Center
463 East 500 South
Fax: (435) 673-1785
TOQUERVILLE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A Toquerville mother was arrested after investigators say she locked up her young son and nearly starved him to death.
Seasoned Washington County law enforcement officers describe the case as the worst example of child abuse they’ve ever seen.
The 12-year-old boy was found weighing just 30 pounds, looking similar to a Holocaust concentration camp victim, according to investigators.
The boy was locked in an upstairs bathroom for up to two years, said Lt. David Crause. First responders said the child was so emaciated, he could not stand on his own.
“I don’t know how somebody could do this to their own child,” John Hammer said, neighbor.
Two padlocks were on the outside of the bathroom door, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Inside, the boy was found lying on the floor with a blanket in the dark.
“It’s probably one of the most heinous cases I’ve ever seen in my career,” Lt. Crause said.
Investigators say the boy’s father found him Sunday night and took him to Dixie Regional Medical Center. Deputies were called and a search warrant allowed investigators into his Toquerville home on south Shangrila Drive.
There they found a few empty cans of beans and a spoon in the shower. Deputies also discovered a video camera and baby monitor taped to a shower ledge, which is believed to have been used to watch and talk to the boy while in captivity.
Feces was found piled up in the toilet and was on the floor, according to charging documents. The light switches were taped in the “off” position, as well as all cabinets and the shower drain.
“As the facts of this come out, it was truly like a torture chamber,” Lt. Crause said.
Brandy Jaynes, 36, was arrested for felony aggravated child abuse Monday.
Two other children were removed from the home in healthy condition.
John Hammer lives nearby and has given the two siblings rides home from the bus stop.
“All I’ve ever seen is the mom, the dad, and the two kids. I had no idea there was ever a third child. But if he was locked up for who knows how long, nobody around here, I’m sure, ever knew,” Hammer said.
“You can’t even comprehend that it even happened. I still can’t comprehend it,” Roger Lichfield said, neighbor.
“It’s heartbreaking. Oh my gosh, I feel like I neglected the child because I didn’t know about it,” Rosie Shoemaker said, neighbor.
Jayne’s attorney did not respond to ABC4 Utah’s request for comment. However, investigators say she told them her son wanted to sleep in the bathroom.
She also admitted to locking her son up for safety when she left the house and fed him protein drinks to get his weight up.
Doctors expect the boy to be treated at the hospital for at least three weeks.