YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man and woman are now facing charges stemming from a report that came from a concerned shopper in August.
A Mahoning County grand jury returned an indictment against Sara Marie Myers and Samuel John Myers on Thursday. They each face five counts of endangering children, both felony and misdemeanor charges.
They are the mother and stepfather of a child whose welfare officers were called to investigate after a report from a shopper at the Niles Target. The shopper told police that she spotted the child in the parking lot and said he was covered in bruises and appeared to be starving.
This led an officer to check on the child at a home on N. Raccoon Road in Austintown, according to a police report.
The report states that an officer went to the child’s home and found three children there, one of whom had bruises and cuts on his arms and legs. The child wasn’t wearing shoes or socks and the child’s feet were dirty and bright red, the report stated.
The officer spoke to Sara and Samuel Myers in the home and say they blamed a dog for the injuries.
Police looked through the home and found urine and feces throughout it, as well as a tent on the floor where the child was said to have slept, the report stated. According to the report, officers also found locks and chains in a closet inside a bedroom. Samuel said food was stored in the locked closet, but police said there was no food in there, only a couple of blankets on the ground as well as clothes and electronics.
As part of their investigation, officers spoke to the other children in the home who told officers that the boy gets attacked by the dog when he throws a temper tantrum. They also said he gets in trouble for eating their food, saying he has his own food — mini ravioli — that he doesn’t like.
Officers reported finding two Golden Retrievers that appeared to be malnourished. The report states that they were so skinny “you were able to observe their bones through their skin.” One of the dogs also had a cut on its nose that was bleeding.
Animal Charity was called and removed six dogs and two cats from the home.
Police also called Children Services, and a family member took custody of the kids, who were removed from the home. That family member reported that she hadn’t seen the boy in three weeks but that he was uninjured when she saw him.
Police said Sara Myers was upset about the situation at the time, saying she knew it would happen and things went downhill after she got a job, the report stated.
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A warrant has been issued for the arrests of Sara and Samuel Myers, according to court records.
On Friday, Oct. 21, Samuel was booked and released from the Mahoning County Jail.
Gerry Ricciutti contributed to this report.