De Soto — A 6-year-old boy found confined to his mother’s attic earlier this week is doing well.
The boy, who relatives describe as always having been on the small side, has Down syndrome and weighed only 20 pounds Tuesday when he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital for emergency treatment. Deputies found the boy covered in feces in the cramped attic of Perez’s duplex Tuesday night.
Sarah Swain, the lawyer for the boy’s grandparents, reports that the family is hopeful the boy will be released from the hospital as early as next week.
Where the boy will go once he is released is still not clear. The boy’s grandparents — Rachel Perez’s father and stepmother — plan to petition the state for custody of Perez’s three children, their attorney said. Perez’s daughters, ages 8 and 5, were with the grandparents until Thursday, when they were taken into state custody. Swain said the grandparents will meet with SRS officials Monday morning to begin custody hearings.
The girls are in good health, Swain said.
How long the 6-year-old had been confined in the attic is still uncertain. A friend of Perez’s who declined to give her name said she hadn’t seen the boy in several weeks.
“Every time I would see Rachel with the girls and ask about [the boy] she just said he was with other relatives or friends, I had no idea,” said the friend.
The grandparents said they had been concerned about the boy for some time and had placed “several” calls to SRS and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department asking that something be done.
“The grandparents are just very upset at this time that it took this long for law enforcement to do something and that the situation had to become this severe,” Swain said.