LOGAN CO., Okla. - A teenager with special needs was allegedly left by his caretaker to fend for himself in horrifying conditions.
Now his caretaker, Bryan Stanley, is charged with neglect or exploitation by a caretaker. He was arrested on Wednesday.
According to the affidavit, DHS reported the 16-year-old is autistic and functioning at the level of a 9 or 10-year-old. His hygiene was becoming an issue at school, so DHS went to check on him at home and what they found was appalling.
"The conditions are so deplorable," Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereaux said. "It’s hard for us to go into that situation and see what this kid was living in."
The affidavit states the house he was in had a "pungent odor of urine, feces, and decomposing organic material," there were "bags of garbage strewn throughout," and he was sleeping on a cot in the living room because the bedrooms were uninhabitable. It goes on to say he hadn't showered in months, and the cell phone he had only had wi-fi service, not cellular service.
"There was no running water at the house, he survived on Dr. Pepper, some sort of Little Debbie snacks, and a gallon of water," the sheriff said. "Left to fend for himself."
Stanley had allegedly been living in Oklahoma City for "some time" with his new girlfriend, according to deputies, and would stop by occasionally, once a week or sometimes once a month, to drop off food and pick up the boy's social security check.
"This kid was receiving money from the government," Sheriff Devereaux said, "and we believe that money was used for other things besides what it was designed for, and ultimately the kid paid the price."
"Kids are just conditioned to accept their lifestyle," said Hannah Griffis, mental health coordinator at The Care Center. The group advocates for child victims of abuse and neglect. She said neglect like this can have a lasting effect on brain development. "If we have kids that are being neglected, how are they supposed to understand what love is, what respect is, what empathy is, if they have never seen that modeled, or had that respect shown to them?"
The affidavit states Stanley told DHS workers he moved the teen into the residence in an attempt to "live his new life." He told News 4 off-camera that the report isn't accurate, and that things he did with good intentions had results he couldn't see.
According to the affidavit, the boy was taken from the home and put in the custody of a family friend.
Stanley bonded out on a $20,000 bond.