ALLEN COUNTY, Kansas (CNN) – A father faces felony charges for leaving his 4-year-old son home alone. The boy, locked up in a bedroom alone.
The Allen County Sheriff says the suspect then went to work. It happened near the town of Iola, Kansas, about a two hour’s drive south of Kansas City.
Deputies say the boy was living in inhumane conditions.
“All he had to do is come over and knock. Because somebody is always home,” Neighbor Leo Wood said.
Wood says he and his family would often see the boy in the bedroom window of this home. Wood says he had no idea the boy was locked inside alone, with no food and no bathroom.
“The kid is standing there in the window beating on the window doing one of these numbers like saying hi,” Wood said. “We didn’t think nothing of it. Figured ok somebody’s there.”
But when Wood’s stepdaughter heard the child hollering for help at about 5 o’clock one afternoon, she knew something was not right. Deputies forced their way into the house and broke into the locked bedroom, but were not prepared for what they found.
“There was such a strong ammonia odor in the room. The room was just unbearable,” Allen Co. Sheriff Brian Murphy said. “Of course there’s feces, everything, no way shape or form they were living conditions for any type of human being. Let alone a 4-year-old child.”
Murphy says Blayke Anthony Reynolds has temporary visitation rights to see the boy.
Reynolds told deputies he could not afford childcare for his son. Murphy says Reynolds has been charged with three felonies, including aggravated child endangerment.
Deputies are investigating reports that this may not have been the first time the boy was locked in the room and left alone.
“All he would have had to do is come over and knock on the door and say hey I’ve got to be at work, I need a sitter. Not a problem,” Wood said.
Murphy says Reynolds worked in Lacyne, about an hour and a half’s drive away from the house. His shift was from 3 p.m. to midnight. So he’s accused of knowingly leaving his son alone, for what would have been about 12 hours.
Sheriff Murphy says after doctors checked the boy at the hospital, he has been returned to the custody of his mother and is in good condition.