Two parents from Georgia have been charged with attempted murder and child abuse after their starving 10-year-old son was found wandering through their neighborhood looking for a grocery store where he could beg for food.
Police in Griffin arrested Tyler Schindley, 46, and his wife Krista, 47, after neighbors in the upscale enclave found the emaciated boy roaming through the streets on Friday. The child begged police officers to ‘please not make him go back.’
The boy was reportedly barefoot, hungry and confused.
Authorities said the child had been intentionally starved and weighed just about 36 pounds when he was found – the weight of an average 4-year-old.
District Attorney Marie Broder said during a Tuesday news conference: ‘This child was, simply put, being starved to death, and it is tragic.’
Police in Griffin arrested Tyler and Krista Schindley after neighbors found their emaciated son roaming through the streets on Friday
The couple have been charged with attempted murder, in addition to several counts of child abuse
‘I truly believe that if he had not gotten out of that home, this would be a very different case,’ she added.
‘This case is just disturbing. It’s heartbreaking,’ said Broder who has spent the bulk of her career prosecuting child abuse suspects.
‘As a mother, I can’t comprehend it. As a human being, it breaks your heart. We aren’t releasing any photos of this child for obvious reasons, but I will tell you, the photos are absolutely horrible, and anybody with a human heart, who looks at them, should be shaken to their core.’
The parents were accused of locking the child inside his bedroom and leaving him alone at the house for ‘extended periods of time and on multiple occasions, with no access to lights, food, clothing or adult interaction and/or assistance,’ according to court documents.
The couple also allegedly withheld hot water, toilet paper and views of the outdoors. At one point, it is believed they beat the 10-year-old, causing further injuries.
The abuse is believed to have occurred for at least three years, beginning in May of 2020.
According to officials, the boy was one of five siblings living in the home, and he was not the oldest or the youngest. Authorities did not share information about the conditions of the other children, all of whom were homeschooled, but said it seemed that the 10-year-old boy was the only one being starved.
District Attorney Marie Broder who told the press on Tuesday the 10-year-old victim was being ‘starved to death’
Tyler Schindley voluntarily came into the local police department after his son was found and spoke with investigators. Krista Schindley was arrested after that, following a separate interview she had.
The boy was transported to a local hospital, where he is being treated for malnutrition and a low heart rate. The child also suffered ‘dental injury and disfiguration’ as a result of his treatment, which the parents seemingly failed to treat.
Law enforcement officials added the four other children have been placed in the custody of Georgia’s Child Services department.
The couple have been charged with attempted homicide in the second degree and attempted malice murder. They also face several charges of cruelty to children, battery and false imprisonment.
One of the charges their parents’ face includes child cruelty against the four other children who allegedly witnessed abuse against their ten-year-old brother.
Krista is thought to have been a franchise owner of the Peachtree City True Rest Float Spa and both she and husband Tyler managed the spa together.
Tyler’s Facebook page also listed him as a manager at an Under Armour store in McDonough.
Ethan Washburn, the eldest son of Krista and Tyler Schindley, opened the door to their family home in Griffin, Georgia, and told a reporter: ‘I’m not too close to the situation right now, I’m just watching the house’
The Schindleys’ home in Griffin, Georgia, which is worth an estimated $447,000
A child’s bike can be seen at the property in Griffin where the 10-year-old son of Krista and Tyler Schindley was allegedly kept locked in his room without until he weighed just 36lbs
Krista Schindley (center right) poses with her eldest son Ethan Washburn (center left) at a Float Spa booth
The owners of the True Rest Spas have since distanced themselves for the Schindleys, saying they are ‘horrified and shocked’ by the arrest
Ethan Washburn, the eldest of the couple’s children – though he does not share a last name with Tyler Schindley – was at the family home on Tuesday.
He told Fox5 that he had no connection to the ongoing case: ‘I’m not too close to the situation right now, I’m just watching the house. I don’t really have any comment,’ he said, before confirming the couple are his parents.
Ethan is listed as a branch manager for the same chain of spas his mother was working for before her arrest.
In a Mother’s Day promotion posted to the True Rest Float Spa’s Instagram page on May 1, Krista Schindley is seen leading a guest into a spa chamber.
Since her arrest, the owners of the True Rest Spas have distanced themselves from Krista, saying they are ‘horrified and shocked’ by the arrests.
In a post Facebook post on Tuesday, the company wrote: ‘As the owners of True REST McDonough and Peachtree we are horrified and shocked by the news about the Schindleys. True REST is doing everything we can to protect the spa as a safe environment for our clients and our employees. This operations team has been replaced. The True REST mission remains to provide an accessible floatation therapy experience for anyone struggling with pain, stress and insomnia.’
Tyler Schindley in a photo from his Facebook profile. He’s charged with attempted homicide in the second degree and attempted malice murder along with wife Krista. He also faces several charges of cruelty to children, battery and false imprisonment
Tyler Schindley appeared to enjoy an active lifestyle. He is shown here competing in a sporting event that included jumping over burning coals
According to public records, Tyler and Krista Schindley have only ever been written up for minor traffic offenses, including speeding, an improper turn and an expired registration.
The family’s home has an estimated value of $447,000 in an area where the median home price is $191,000.
The couple’s next-door neighbor, Kim Seigler, told Fox5 that she had previously worried about the Schindley children.
‘The fact that they’re my neighbors… just made me feel bad… like I should’ve been more observant,’ she said.
The couple is due in court on Monday.