It's one of the most shocking cases of child abuse in recent memory. Details keep emerging deepening the horror and shock that the nation is feeling, but it's also revealing the heroic actions of those who saved a life.
In 2014, authorities were called to a house in Spring, TX over a domestic disturbance. There they found a distraught 16-year-old, who brought them inside the house. He had been arguing on the lawn with his stepfather. The older man had fled before police arrived.
The teenager, Cody, led police to a closet under the stairs with a lock on the outside. When they opened it they found a soiled mattress and evidence it had been used as a room.
This launched a search for the boy, Jordan, and his stepmother, who had fled the house with him before police arrived.
The police used tracking tools to locate her at a nearby motel, where they also found Jordan. He was severally underweight, covered in bruises and bumps. They rushed him to a pediatric hospital where he spent many weeks recovering. He weighed just 29 pounds.
Both Bradley and his wife, Tammi, were arrested. Bradley eventually pleaded guilty to child endangerment and received 15 years in prison. This past week Tammi was sentenced to 28 years in prison for injury to a child by omission.
JUSTICE HAS ARRIVED !! MOTHER WHO STARVED HER 5 YEAR OLD STEP SON AND KEPT HIM LOCKED IN A CLOSET UNDER STAIRS WAS FOUND GUILTY TODAY IN COURT!!— Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 (@Pct4Constable) December 7, 2018
In Feb 2015 Tammi Bleimeyer was arrested and charged with felony injury to a child by omission. pic.twitter.com/YIyaMjX7r5
The stiff sentence has propelled the story back into the news, with even more horrid details.
Tammi was the biological mother of seven children, but it's unclear how many lived in the house with Jordan at any given time. His stepbrother Cody, who alerted authorities, revealed a house full of abuse and mistreatment, most directed at Jordan specifically.
Jordan said he was fed a piece of bread every day, nothing more. If he didn't eat it quickly enough it was taken away. He wasn't allowed to sit at the table with his siblings and was drugged to keep quiet when guests were over.
The initial argument that led to Jordan's rescue was caused by Cody and his sister Allison opening the locked closet. Cody described what he saw to The Sun.
"His face was all caved in, bruises all over, marks on him. I have never in my life seen anything as bad as that. If we hand't got him out that day, I don't think he would have survived."
Allison picked up Jordan and ran outside. That's when Bradley and Tammi flew into a rage. Bradley fought with Cody while Tammi packed bags and fled.
Cody and Allison described months of abuse at the hands of Bradley and Tammi. Cody says someone smashed Jordan's head into a wall, and he was also tazed on occasion. He would sneak him food to keep him alive.
Jordan was reunited with his biological mother, and in a nearly miraculous recovery was seen heavier and much happier just months later. He's now 9-years-old, attending school and behaving like a normal happy child.
While Jordan is finally experiencing life as a normal child, Cody and Allison had to do something no child should: testify against their mother.
They were the State's key witnesses against the abuser and were instrumental in delivering justice.
"I'm up here to ask a rhetorical question of how, how could you put your children through all that?" Cody said on the stand. "You caused me feelings of sadness, anger, confusion and emptiness. I can't say that I'll ever emotionally be the same because of this."
[H/T: The Sun]
Child abuse is such a stain on our world and this case is one of the worst, but thankfully people like Allison and Cody were able to step in before a beautiful young boy lost his life.