Reported by Cherry Hill Patch Editor Bryan Littel
A call about a runaway 10-year-old in Camden turned disturbing Monday afternoon, after Camden County officers found evidence the boy had been chained to a radiator for the last two weeks, Camden County Police announced Tuesday.
Florence M. Pollard, 31, of the 2700 block of Cramer Street, and her boyfriend, Brian L. Craig, 29, of Blackwood, called police to report the 10-year-old had run away from the home Monday afternoon, but when a neighbor found the boy a few blocks away from his Cramer Street home, the boy, identified only as M.P., told officers he'd been chained up in his mother's bedroom as punishment, police said.
Officers searched the home and found a length of metal chain and lock attached to a radiator, police said, and M.P. told them he also had his hands zip-tied together on occasion during the two-week ordeal.
“This level of depravity inflicted upon a child is chilling,” said Chief J. Scott Thomson. “We’re just thankful that the child had an opportunity to escape and report what has been going on so we could arrest this couple and put a stop to their cruelty.”
M.P. and five siblings—two sisters and three brothers ranging in age from 7 months to 11 years old—were taken into custody by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, police said. Craig is the natural father of only the 7-month-old girl, according to authorities.
Pollard and Craig were both arrested and charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree criminal restraint.
Both are in the Camden County Jail; Pollard's bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond, while Craig's was set at $50,000 cash.