In an alarming case out of Wisconsin, neighbors called the police after seeing two naked boys escaping from a home in their neighborhood. The boys, ages 7 and 9, were covered in feces, blood, bruises, and red marks. Upon arriving, officers spotted a “terrible hoarding situation” within the home, with “the smell of feces and urine in the air and the boys’ walls smeared with human feces. Chris Eder, who called the police, commented that the boys seemed to be in a state of pure bewilderment as if they had not been outside before.
When interrogating the boys’ mother, Katie Koch, and her boyfriend, Joel Manke, authorities learned they had been locked in their room due to their autism. The door was shut from the outside, and the windows were boarded up, forcing the boys to live in squalor. Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mallory Davis added that the boys had also not been properly schooled or toilet-trained, confining them to a life of isolation.
Koch and Manke are now facing serious charges for their actions. Manke is charged with two counts each of chronic neglect of a child and false imprisonment, while Koch faces two counts of neglecting a child in addition to the former mentioned criminal charges. The criminal complaint states that the boys had to have their heads shaved in the hospital because their hair was matted with feces. When Koch was told about this, she allegedly said it was ok because they needed a haircut.
According to Eder, the boys looking around in “pure bewilderment” left her saddened but hopeful that they would realize how much others care for them. When asked to comment, county representatives said the situation is still under investigation.