Andy's Story

  • One day not long ago, law enforcement received a call about a 2-year old boy walking down the street carrying a suitcase. When Detective Mike and a Children’s Division investigator responded to the call, they found that little boy, Andy, in such poor physical condition that they felt ambulance transfer to the hospital was necessary. Once at the hospital, “Andy” was found to be 4 years old (not 2 years old) weighing 22 pounds, malnourished and with ligature marks on both arms. Investigators asked that Andy undergo testing to determine whether his condition was medical or abusive. During this time, Andy, being very hungry, liked the little crustless sandwiches the nurses gave him. Detective Mike recalls that following a test, Andy received a sandwich, ate half of it and tucked the other half in his hospital gown pocket, telling Detective Mike “I’m saving this for later”. Testing determined that there was no medical reason for his condition.

    Andy was then taken to Children’s Center where he was interviewed by one of our specially-trained forensic interviewers. During the interview, he disclosed that he was being tied up because he was bad…..he was stealing stuff. When asked what he was stealing, he said “food”. The investigators learned that the caregivers would use shoe strings to tie Andy to his bed at night to keep him from rummaging through the kitchen cabinets in search of food.

    While at Children’s Center, Andy also received a forensic medical evaluation by our specially-trained nurse practitioner. His physical condition and injuries were carefully documented and photographs were taken. From the Children’s Center, Andy and his brother, Robert, went to live with foster parents. Thirty days later Andy returned to Children’s Center. He was found to be doing well and had gained 10 pounds, weighing 32 pounds.

    Criminal charges were filed against the caregivers who pled guilty and were sentenced to the Department of Corrections.

    In 2009, Andy and his brother were adopted. Both have adjusted well and are thriving in their adoptive home.

    Detective Mike keeps pictures of Andy in his office – one taken on the day Andy first came to the Children’s Center and one taken a month later – to remind him that we are making a difference in children’s lives.