A couple in Murrieta, California, has been arrested on accusations that they tortured a young boy. According to Thursday’s KTLA News, the child is in “grave condition, and his father, 33-year-old Benjamin Matthew Whitten, is behind bars.
The local authorities arrested Whitten, a Navy machinist, and his 25-year-old girlfriend, Jeryn Johnson, after finding the five-year-old child with severe injuries and comatose, on Tuesday. The authorities were alerted to the situation when Whitten called 911 to report a medical emergency with the boy.
Responding officers noted that the boy was “frail and malnourished.” Neighbors observed paramedics performing CPR on the boy before he was taken to a hospital for care.
The authorities were able to get a search warrant for the couple’s home – they discovered 11 dogs, four cats and some fish living in the residence which was described as “extremely unsanitary.” According to CBS Los Angeles, the couple had a “passion” for rescuing neglected dogs.
The boy was air-lifted to another hospital in San Diego County – he is said to be still “fighting for his life.” The couple is facing multiple charges, including torture and child abuse.
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