Judge: Handcuffed teen to stay with foster family

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Associated Press

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 7 at 2:04 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suburban Kansas City judge has ruled a 17-year-old who was found handcuffed to a steel pole in the basement of his home this week will stay with a foster family for now.

The teen spoke at a probable cause hearing Thursday morning. His father also was there and asked for a lawyer, but did not make comments.

Clay County juvenile court officer Alan Gremli says the boy is happy with his foster family. Gremli urged the judge Thursday to let the teen stay there because of dangerous living conditions at the boy's home.

The teen was found Monday after a neighbor called authorities.

No charges have been filed against the boy's father, stepmother or older stepbrother, all of whom lived in the home.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A Kansas City woman said Thursday she was torn about whether to contact authorities after seeing a teenage neighbor handcuffed to a door in his home two weeks ago.

Crystal Anderson said she now is relieved that she called the Missouri Children's Division on Monday morning. Investigators arrived at the north Kansas City townhome next door less than an hour later and found a 17-year-old boy in the fetal position, shivering on the cold concrete floor. His face was "sunken in on the sides and his eyes had a look of desperation," according to the police report.

The teen was taken to a nearby hospital for examination and later was taken into protective custody.

Police spokesman Steve Young said no charges against the teen's father, stepmother or stepbrother were expected Thursday, and it could be days before anything is filed.

Anderson, 24, said she became friends with the teen after she moved into the apartment complex in August. For the first month, she said she usually saw him playing outside from the time she got up until about 10 p.m.

After that, she said she never saw him again until she went to her neighbor's home about two weeks ago and saw him handcuffed to a basement door.

"I heard a lot of fighting and thought probably something was going on over there," Anderson said.

She said she has received messages from the teen's biological family, thanking her for making the call and saying the abuse had been going on for years.

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