A seven-year-old boy was found by police wandering the streets trying to sell his teddy bear so he could eat for the first time in days.The hungry child was seen by ‘heartbroken’ officer Steve Dunham – who immediately took the boy to Subway for a feast. But when two other officers went to the boy’s home in Franklin, Ohio, they found the house strewn with rotten food, rubbish, cat urine and booze bottles.
His parents Tammi and Michael Bethel – who said they did not realise their son was missing – have been charged with child endangerment.
Police were called last Saturday to reports a young boy was wandering the streets alone. Speaking to WLWT , Officer Dunham said: “He told me he was trying to sell his stuffed animal to get money for food because he hadn’t eaten in several days.”
Dunham said he and the boy ate together at the Subway across the street before he brought the child to the police station. Officers went to his home to find rotten food, insects and squalid living conditions. The Bethels’ five children, aged seven, 11, 12, 15 and 17, were removed by Children’s Services and a judge barred the parents from contacting them.