A young Battle Creek boy remains in critical condition in the hospital, three of his siblings have been removed by CPS, and his mother is behind bars. This story has featured in many online news articles in the last few days, and the rumors circulation are getting stranger by the minute. So let’s take a look at the facts.
4-year-old Maloyd Gaines was brought to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital after being transported to the E.R. by LifeCare Ambulance. There doctors determined that he was a victim of neglect, and reported their suspicions to the police. According to officers investigating the situation, Maloyd had a round cut on his nose, large sores on his right leg, and severe bruises on the toes of his left foot.
In addition to the numerous injuries, Maloyd was also severely underweight and allegedly smelled very bad. Responding officers described the smell as being like a decaying body. Doctors are still not certain if the boy’s injuries are the result of abuse or neglect. His condition was determined to be critical, and he was transferred to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment. There is a chance, according to one of the officers involved, that the child’s foot may need to be amputated.
The boy’s mother, 23-year-old Megan Schug, was interviewed by police. She told detectives that Maloyd hadn’t felt well for several days, and that she hadn’t been able to get him to eat cereal that morning. She also informed the officers that she believes that her son is developmentally disabled.
Police claim parents locked the boy in a closet when they left home.
Officers investigating the situation went to the family’s home, where they say they found “questionable living conditions.” Allegations are that Maloyd may have been locked in a closet, although officers don’t know how often, or for how long. They suspect that the parents or caregivers would lock him in the closet when they left the house, but this has not been confirmed. There were three other children living at the house, that have since been taken into state custody by CPS.
Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert authorized a charge of Second Degree Child Abuse against Schug. She was arraigned in Calhoun County District Court. Under Michigan law, Second Degree Child Abuse refers to a parent or guardian’s willful failure to provide the food, clothing, or shelter that a child needs for their basic welfare, which then results in serious physical harm to the child. It is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison for first offenses, and up to twenty years for all second and subsequent convictions.
The same charges were issued for a 34-year-old man named Issac Miller, whom police say was living with Schug and her four children. Police are still searching for him, and there is currently no word on whether he has been located or not. We will continue to watch this story, and will keep you updated as new developments are made available.