The young boy who was recently found locked in a freezing dog kennel outside his home in North Carlina was photographed inside a cage as a baby before his father and stepmother removed him from their family photos.
In the photos taken when he was only 1, he can be seen smiling with a bottle in his hands as he sat inside a dog cage.
His father Jonathan Starr, 32, stepmother Sarah Lynette Starr, 40, and her aunt Shelley Lucille Barnes, 56, are now in prison on child abuse charges.
The young boy and his four siblings are now in the care of social services.
According to reports, it was in 2017 when Jonathan tied the knot with Sarah, who had two daughters from a previous relationship.
She then gave birth to a boy that same year and another boy earlier this year.
In 2018, their family home was destroyed by wildfire and they were forced to live with Sarah’s aunt, Shelley, in North Carolina.
The 56-year-old aunt is a convicted felon with a lengthy rap sheet of 34 different arrests in both California and North Carolina.
Shorty after the fifth child was born earlier this year, the young boy found in the freezing dog kennel disappeared from Sarah’s social media accounts. He was also cropped out in some of the photos.
The boy’s sudden disappearance sparked concern among her friends, who asked where her stepson was.
In Sarah’s biography, she described herself as a mother of four instead of five.
Police were called to the house after a neighbor noticed the boy locked in a freezing dog care outside the 1,400 square ft. house where his father, stepmother, aunt and his four siblings slept.
Sheriff Richie Simmons of Davidson County in North Carolina said that the abuse was unlike anything he’d ever seen before.
“I’ve been in law enforcement 36 years. This is the first time I’ve seen something quite this significant to be honest with you,” he said during a press conference.
“There was some clothes that was there, just bits and pieces, a little bit of food was inside, but not enough to sustain warmth for this child.”
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