A 6-year-old boy was starved, imprisoned, and tortured by his father, Melvin W. Bledsoe, and his stepmother Joy Tamika Anderson. The boy’s three stepsiblings were not reported to be abused. The boy was homeschooled.
Bledsoe and Anderson were half-siblings. In 2012, Bledsoe and the boy were living with Anderson, her husband, and her three children. Bledsoe slapped the boy, then nine months old, and the boy was briefly removed by child services. Bledsoe pleaded guilty to felony injury of a child after Anderson testified against him. A neighbor witnessed the boy being abused in 2015 and alerted child services, but they did not find enough evidence to remove the boy. By 2017, Bledsoe and Anderson were living together as a couple and abusing the boy together. They tied him face-down to a bed with ropes. Bledsoe threw him against a wall and beat him with a belt; Anderson beat him with a coat hanger and stomped on his belly, causing his pancreas to rupture in half. When he was rescued, the boy “had scars and scabs all over his body…several fresh wounds, dried blood on his body, ulcers on his legs and a cauliflower ear.” He had recently eaten a pillow due to hunger.
The abuse came to light in October 2017 after Bledsoe and Anderson brought the boy to the hospital because his “lips were turning blue and his stomach was bloating” due to the ruptured pancreas. Bledsoe and Anderson were charged with felony injury to a child.
Date: October 8, 2017
Location: Post Falls, Idaho