816 North

Teen who was handcuffed to pole will stay with foster family

A Clay County judge will allow a 17-year-old boy who was found handcuffed to a basement pole earlier this week to remain with a foster family he was placed with earlier this week.

Police found the mentally challenged teen on top of several blankets Monday inside the basement of his Kansas City, North, residence.

He was kept there for some time and was given very little food, police said.

Juvenile court officer Alan Gremli said Thursday that the boy is happy and comfortable with his foster family. Gremli asked Circuit Judge Elizabeth Davis to allow the teen to stay with the family because of the unstable conditions at his home.

Another hearing is scheduled for March 7.

Additional evidence will be presented and Davis may decide where the teen will be placed.

No charges have been filed. The case remains under investigation.

“I think he is glad to be out of those circumstances and into a foster home where he is now,” Gremli said in an interview after the hearing.

Gremli described the teen as “generally healthy, but thin,” weighing between 103 and 107 pounds.

Prior to the hearing, Gremli said the teen boasted about making pizza the night before with his foster family. The teen joked that he would eat the rest of the pizza when he returned to their home, Gremli said.

Police officers visited the teen’s Northland townhome Monday afternoon to check on him after someone suspecting abuse called the Missouri Children’s Division.

The teen’s stepmother answered the door and told police she would go downstairs to wake him. Police asked her to stay upstairs while they checked on the teen.

The officers found him curled in a fetal position on the concrete floor. He was placed in protective custody.

Investigators learned that the teen had been locked in the basement since Sept. 27, when his father removed him from his high school, where he was a sophomore, reportedly to home-school him.

Gremli said the teen would return to a school in Clay County next week.