Boy imprisoned and starved in mom's attic unrecognizable 6 years after rescue
Giovanni Eastwood, now a healthy and active teenager, is a far cry from the scared, sickly 6-year-old child who weighed just about 20 pounds when police rescued him from his Kansas home in 2010.
"To (sic) what happened that night to today, it's just night and day," Sgt. Brent Moore of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, who was reunited with the youngster for the first time on Saturday, told The Kansas City Star.
"You see pictures from World War II. He was like that."
The Star detailed the horrific circumstances surrounding now-13-year-old Govi's (pronounced joe-vee) horrific abuse and dramatic rescue:
On an August night six years ago, Deputy John Klingele pushed up on the attic door in a filthy house that smelled like urine and a small boy's legs flopped down. Nobody knew if Govi would survive. He was a few weeks shy of his 7th birthday, frail and emaciated. He couldn't walk, nor could he talk much. Old enough to have been in second grade, yet the boy with Down syndrome had never been potty trained, much less gone to school.
Thankfully, Govi's story has a happy ending.
Foster mom Jenny Weaver, who had seen the story unfold on television, was so moved by the child's tragic tale that she reached out to an agency to see if she could provide a temporary home for Govi and both his sisters, 8-year-old Brandee and 5-year-old Angel.
"Something about his story just really grabbed my heart," Weaver told KSHB as she fought back tears. "I wanted him in my home."
When Govi's aunt and uncle, Stacy and Joe Eastwood, received word of their niece's and nephew's situation, they reached out to Weaver to begin the process of legally adopting all three children.
The Star reports that since his rescue, many at the sheriff's department have wondered about Govi -- but as of Saturday, they no longer have to wonder.
In a tearful ceremony, Govi, now at a healthy 101 pounds, was reunited with the heroes who rescued him for the first time in six years and named an honorary deputy sheriff of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.
He even got his own badge number -- 769, the same number Klingele, now a sergeant, was wearing the night he rescued Govi.
More on the touching story: