VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - Police in Vigo County have arrested four people accused of starving a 9-year-old boy to death.
Sheriff's deputies found the child after a 911 call to a home northeast of Terre Haute.
They say Cameron Hoopingarner had cerebral palsy, was blind and bedridden. He was also severely malnourished and weighed less than 15 pounds.
The sheriff says he has never seen anything so upsetting in 26 years in law enforcement.
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"And this is how he gets treated? This is what he deserves? To be starved to death? What kind of animals are they?" said Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing.
The four people arrested Wednesday are not related to the boy, but two of them were his legal guardians.
One of the suspects, 33-year-old Chad Kraemer of Fontanet, protested his arrest, shouting, "This ain't right! This ain't right!" while being led back to the Vigo County Jail following an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.
Kraemer's parents, 56-year-old Hubert and 53-year-old Robin Kraemer, and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Sarah Travioli, were also arrested. They are now facing charges of neglect of a dependent causing death and neglect of a dependent. Chad Kraemer and Travioli are charged with failure to report child neglect.
All four are being held on a $250,000 bond. Our newsgathering partners at the Tribune-Star report each suspect could face 40 years in prison for the crime.
Deputies also removed a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old from the home.
The Department of Child Services declined comment on the case, citing privacy laws.
(The Tribune-Star and Associated Press contributed to this story.)