An 11-year-old Iowa boy whose bedroom was covered in plastic sheeting told an investigator that he hadn’t been outside since last summer.
His paternal grandparents, 49-year-old Rocky Wooldridge and 43-year-old Jennifer Wooldridge, of Knoxville, have been charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and neglect.
Marion County court records say the couple are scheduled for arraignment on June 6.
Rocky Wooldridge has pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment and neglect charges and to three weapons counts. His trial on the weapons counts is scheduled to begin June 24.
Wooldridge and his nurse wife formally adopted the boy and his sister in 2017, after the children’s mother died in childbirth in 2012, reported Des Moines Register.
The Wooldridges were given full custody of the siblings after fighting a legal battle against their grandchildren’s maternal grandparents.
Despite being a convicted felon, Rocky Woolridge was listed as his grandson’s primary caregiver.
The case against the couple began unfolding in early March, when their 11-year-old grandchild was taken to a hospital to be treated for thermal burns.
The boy reportedly offered police conflicting explanations for his injuries, leading officials to raid his grandparents’ home on Attica Street on March 8.
A criminal complaint says the Iowa Human Services Department reported only one blanket and one pillow in the bedroom of the Wooldridges’ grandson, along with wet underwear and the plastic sheeting.
The complaint also says the 11-year-old had injuries consistent with child abuse, including thermal burns on his feet and deep bruises.
The boy was observed shaking and walking with difficulty, according to officials.
A search of the family’s Knoxville home also turned up multiple unsecured guns, two of which were loaded.