Hospitalized Iowa Boy’s Story Will Make You Furious
An adopted Iowa boy is safe today, and that's where I want to begin this story. It's important you know that before you find out what he says happened to him in his adopted home. A home where his adopted mom's occupation was a nurse.
The boy, born in 2008, lives in Knoxville. Two years ago, he and his younger sister were adopted by their paternal grandparents, Jennifer and Rocky Lee Wooldridge, after a custody battle involving the kid's maternal grandparents. The Wooldridge's had already had guardianship of the two kids for five years at that point after the kids' mom died will giving birth in 2012.
March 8, child-protective service workers went to the Wooldridge home in Knoxville. What they found was awful. Jennifer wasn't at home, but Rocky would be arrested.
According to the Des Moines Register, the room the boy stayed in had almost nothing in it. There was a pillow, a blanket, wet underwear, Pull-Ups, and the room was covered in plastic.
When he was interviewed by authorities at the hospital, the boy had trouble walking, shook, had bruising and thermal injuries, resulting in his hospitalization. A criminal complaint stated he gave different explanations for his injuries. In the complaint, a Marion County Sheriff's Deputy wrote:
I briefly spoke to (the boy) who stated he hadn't been outside since summer, then said he got the injuries from sticks. He initially stated the thermal injuries were from a shower, then stated he spends 20 minutes outside with his dogs in his socked feet.
49-year-old Rocky Wooldridge, described in a criminal complaint as the primary caregiver for the child, was charged with Child Neglect and Child Endangerment, a felony and aggravated misdemeanor, respectively.
Authorities also found guns in the home and charged Wooldridge with three felony charges of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. The guns were reportedly unsecured, with two of them loaded.
Wooldridge pleaded not guilty and has been released from the Marion County Jail on bond. A date for his trial has not been set.
According to court records, there were two child abuse investigations involving the boy before his adoption to the Wooldridge's became final.