Helena parents charged with aggravated child abuse of teen boy kept in basement, deprived of food


HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Helena couple are in jail, held on a million dollars bond each on aggravated child abuse charges after their 14-year-old adopted son was admitted to a local hospital this weekend in critical condition.UPDATE: Helena police hold press conference, say abuse victim is “challenged,” severely malnourished, undersized & close to death

According to Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar, the boy is in critical condition at the hospital after being kept in isolation in a basement of his Helena home for an extended amount of time.

Richard and Cynthia Kelly are both charged with aggravated child abuse of a family member and held in the Shelby County Jail on $1 million bond. The two are the child’s adoptive parents.

According to Cynthia Kelly’s arrest warrant, the victim was deprived of food, nourishment and medical care, and kept in isolation for an extended period of time, resulting in chronic malnourishment, shock, acute respiratory distress, hypothermia and hypothyroid disease.

AL.com, who first broke the story, reports the boy weighs just 55 pounds, but Folmar said he was unable to confirm that to us, as he said it is part of confidential medical information.

The two were arrested Monday around 6 p.m. by Helena PD after they were notified by Shelby County DHR Sunday morning about the condition of the boy when he was admitted to the hospital.

“The victim continues to get medical care and we at the Helena Police Department wish him a speedy recovery and our prayers are with him,” the department said on Facebook. They continued, thanking District Attorney Jill Lee, and Assistant District Attorney Roger Hepburn for their assistance as well as Shelby County DHR for their hard work.

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