A jealous step mother jailed after feeding 4-year-old stepson laxative laced beans and hot sauce, plus other horrific abuse.
Danielle Miller, 31, faces eight felony counts of endangering a child, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, and harassment, reports Daily Mail.
The victim’s father, 30-year-old Nathan Duke, was jailed on conspiracy and endangerment charges because police say he did nothing to stop the abuse and failed to report it.
When questioned by police, the husband reportedly said he did not seek medical attention for his son because he knew his injuries, including bruises and lacerations, looked like they were the result of child abuse, reported the station WGAL.
According to investigators, Miller bound her stepson’s legs with duct tape, kept him in a padded third-floor closet for hours on end and sometimes teased him by scratching the walls and saying rats were coming to get him.
The toddler was also beaten, burned and insulted by Miller who allegedly threatened him with beatings and called him a ‘f***ing pig’ with a ‘stupid f***ing ugly face.’
State police say they launched an investigation into the family after getting a tip from a concerned relative, who reported witnessing on numerous occasions over the course of four months how Danielle Miller verbally, physically and psychologically abused her stepson.
Miller has three biological children, including one with her current husband and two from a previous relationship. The four-year-old victim is Nathan Duke’s son by another woman.
Police believe the mother resented the boy because he was not her biological child.
The documents filed in the case state that the abuse started when the toddler was three years old and continued until July of this year, when he was removed from Miller’s home in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
Doctors who examined the toddler at Lancaster General Hospital concluded that his many injuries were ‘too numerous to be explained by normal childhood activity’ and many of them appeared to be intentional or suspicious, according to ABC27.
According to a press release from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, the 4-year-old had his legs wrapped in a sheet and then secured with duct tape in a practice allegedly dubbed by Miller as ‘playing mermaid.’
The little boy was also force fed ‘poop beans’ spiked with laxatives, had hot sauce poured into his mouth and then denied water for up to 15 minutes, and made to sit on the toilet and defecate on command.
If the toddler had a bathroom accident, he was forced to wear his soiled pull-ups for hours, the documents stated.
The boy was sometimes taken to a creek, but he was left alone in the car with a bandanna tied around his eyes while his stepsiblings played.
‘There was no evidence of abuse whatsoever with her kids but the one that wasn’t hers was the target,’ Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman told the station Fox43.
The victim has been placed in the care of other family members. On Monday, Miller and Duke’s three children were taken into the custody of Children and Youth Services.
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