ANNVILLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania couple is accused of killing the man’s 12-year-old son after the child’s severely malnourished and brutally beaten body was discovered May 26 covered in his own waste.
Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf detailed during a Monday news conference the horrors suffered by Maxwell Schollenberger, PennLive reported.
“This tiny 12-year-old boy never knew the unconditional love from a family,” Graf said, announcing the homicide charges filed against Scott Schollenberger, 42, and his fiancée, Kimberly Maurer, 35.
“I will not call this living. He existed in a state of perpetual suffering,” Graf said
According to Graf’s account, the child spent most of his life in the second-floor bedroom of his Annville Township home, with no lights, no furniture and locks installed to keep him contained. In addition, the windows were screwed shut, the drapes and blinds were duct-taped closed, he was never enrolled in school and had not been seen by a doctor in a decade, WGAL reported.
“That little boy, in his suffering, could not see out. The community, even if it knew to look for him, could not see in, and that child died suffering entirely alone in the darkness,” Graf said.
The child’s three half-siblings, who lived in the same home but were reportedly well-cared for, told investigators they were “told to ignore him and not talk to him,” PennLive reported.
Graf said police were alerted after Maurer told a neighbor about the child’s death.
“Every other room (in the house) was normal,” Graf said, noting, “There was an abundance of food…and that food went to every other person in the household, except for Max Schollenberger.”
According to PennLive, the child weighed only 47.5 pounds when he was examined following his death, attributed to malnutrition and head trauma. The other children are now in the care of the Lebanon County Children and Youth agency.