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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Post Falls police say couple abused son and left him so hungry he ate his pillow

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 2, 2017

Melvin Bledsoe and Joy Anderson are facing charges of child cruelty and child abuse. (Kootenai County Police)
Melvin Bledsoe and Joy Anderson are facing charges of child cruelty and child abuse. (Kootenai County Police)

Post Falls parents were arrested last week on suspicion of child abuse after their 6-year-old son was sent to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for surgery after sustaining severe injuries.

Joy. T. Anderson, 30, and Melvin W. Bledsoe, 27, are in Kootenai County Jail on $50,000 and $200,000 bonds, respectively. Anderson, the child’s stepmother, was charged with felony injury to a child. Bledsoe, the boy’s biological father, is charged with felony cruelty to children.

According to a police report, the boy suffered a split pancreas and had scars and scabs all over his body. The boy also had several fresh wounds, dried blood on his penis, ulcers on his legs and cauliflower ear, according to the report, which also said the child was undernourished.

Detectives noted that the parents delayed seeking medical attention. After the boy was admitted to the hospital, health and welfare workers suspected abuse and notified authorities.

One nurse practitioner told detectives that the boy’s injuries were the product of “serious and severe physical abuse and possibly long-term abuse,” and said that the split pancreas could have killed him.

The boy was reportedly spitting up or defecating fluff, according to the police report, from eating a pillow due to hunger.

Anderson and Bledsoe told police that the boy sustained his injuries from being “clumsy,” saying he crashed his bike, fell down the stairs and also fell on a rock at a park in Post Falls.

The police also interviewed the couple’s former neighbors in Rathdrum, who said the boy was often lying face down on the bed with ropes tied around his wrists. A neighbor also said he often heard the boy crying and making “the most eerie scream you could hear.”

The same neighbor said he sometimes witnessed Bledsoe picking up the boy and throwing him into a wall.

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