Stepmother sentenced to 28 years in jail for starving 5-year-old boy, locking him in closet
A Texas woman was sentenced on Monday to 28 years in prison for starving her stepson to the point where doctors compared his condition to that of a Holocaust survivor.
Tammi Bleimeyer, a 37-year-old mother of seven, was found guilty of injury to a child by omission after she forced her stepson, Jordan, to sleep in a tiny crawl space under the stairs of her Castlemont, Texas, home for years, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The "room" was littered with nails and exposed wires and was compared by prosecutors to the cupboard under the stairs where Harry Potter was forced to sleep in the iconic series by J.K. Rowling.
Deputies with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office were first notified about the horrific abuse by Bleimeyer's 16-year-old son, who reported her in March 2014, after an incident where he said someone had slammed Jordan's head against a wall and shocked him with a taser.
When officers went to the family's home to perform a welfare check, Bleimeyer, who was six-months pregnant at the time, had already fled the scene with Jordan, then five years old. The two were tracked down to a nearby motel on the same day, where Bleimeyer was arrested.
Image: Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office
Jordan's biological father, Bradley Bleimeyer, who was 24 years old at the time, was arrested in February 2015 and later found guilty of the same charges as his wife in 2016. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jordan was covered in cuts and bruises and weighed just 29 pounds when he was discovered by police, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The malnourished boy was allegedly forced to live off of one slice of bread per day and, according to doctors, could have died within a week had he not been rescued.
Jordan, now 9 years old, is back in the care of his biological mother and is said to be doing well. A photo of the boy sporting a huge smile was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to sharing updates on his condition in 2015.
Child Protective Services took custody of Bleimeyer six children following her arrest. Her newborn baby was placed in the care of a foster family.