A 10-year-old Dayton boy was beaten, locked in a dark attic naked and made to stand bent-over and cross-legged for long periods of time, police say, in what they call an extreme child abuse case that ended with his death.
On Monday, Takoda Collins’ father, Al-Mutahan McLean, 30, was indicted in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court with four counts endangering children, two counts felonious assault, and one count rape of a child under the age of 13. He is due in court on Dec. 31.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said the four counts of endangering include designations of torture.
Meanwhile, two women who lived in the home, Amanda Hinze, 28, and Jennifer Ebert, 24, are charged in Dayton Municipal Court with endangering children.
All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are being held in Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bail. None of the defendants had attorneys listed in their case, and an attempt to reach the defendants for an interview in the jail was unsuccessful.
Dayton police said they began their investigation on Dec. 13 when they were called to a house on the 1900 block of Kensington Drive by McLean because Takoda was unresponsive, according to an affidavit and statement of facts filed in the case against McLean.
“Takoda was observed to have multiple cuts and bruises all over his body,” the court document says. “Takoda was removed to Children’s Hospital and pronounced (dead). Upon exams of Takoda, it was observed that he had bruising to his head.”
Through interviews with McLean and two other people who lived in the house, the affidavit says, law enforcement learned there was “extreme abuse for an extended amount of time inflicted by McLean.”
“Takoda was also locked in the attic naked with no access to the outside or other people for an extended amount of time,” the affidavit says.
The 10-year-old also reportedly ate his own feces and was forced to drink a large amount of water and possibly held underwater prior to him dying, the affidavit says.
In a statement of facts filed in the cases against Hinze and Ebert, police said the women allowed the abuse and “at times reported to McLean if Takoda was not doing what he was supposed to (standing with his legs crossed and bent over for extended amounts of time).”
The affidavit says that the women knew that reporting this to McLean would result in a beating and that none of the parties attempted to get the boy help during the years of abuse.
Heck said in a statement that Hinze is McLean’s girlfriend and Ebert is Hinze’s sister.
A next court date in the case against the women was not set Monday afternoon.
Days before Takoda’s birthday
A Go Fund Me account set up by Hinze about a week ago to pay for the child’s memorial says he died just days before his birthday.
“Please help me in providing a memorial for Takoda who passed away five days before his 11th birthday anything will help thank you,” the Go Fund me says.
That page was taken down Monday afternoon as reports started to surface about the criminal charges.
Attempts to reach other family members of Takoda were unsuccessful Monday. Nobody answered the door for a reporter who visited the Kensington Drive home. The house is a 1-story with a bump-out attic with south-facing windows. The attic window facing the street is covered with plywood.
Takoda was home schooled, Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said, and school officials didn’t have contact with him.
Lolli said under current rules with home-schooled students, everything is handled through the mail.
“We don’t see the student,” she said.
Because it’s a holiday week, Lolli said the school district couldn’t immediately say when the child was withdrawn from the district.
‘What kid deserves that?’
Neighbors to the house in the College Hill neighborhood of northwest Dayton reacted to the news with shock and horror when reached by this news organization.
“We didn’t know there was kid in that house at all,” said Karen Myers, who babysits her daughter’s five kids two doors down from the house.
Myers said her daughter has lived there about five months and her grandchildren, all between ages two and eight, would have made friends with a neighbor boy. But even in the summer, there were no kids outside.
When she learned the details about what is alleged to have happened to Takoda, Myers began to cry.
“Here it is, Christmas,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.” “What kid deserves that? Nobody does. No baby deserves that.”
Other neighbors say they knew kids lived there but hadn’t seen them in months. Charlie Patterson, who lives down the street, said he gave some leftover Halloween candy to several children who lived in that house shortly after Halloween.
Vincent McDade, who lives caddy-corner to the house where the boy lived, said he thought the child had moved out since he hadn’t seen him since last summer. Both McDade and Patterson said Takoda acted nervous in public.
“He was nervous around people,” McDade said. “It looked like he wanted to come up to you and talk to you, but he was scared.”
The call for assistance last week isn’t the first time police were called to the Kensington Drive home.
Records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show Dayton police investigated a different child running away from McLean’s home. The 2016 report says McLean alerted police that his then 9-year-old child was missing. The child had recently relocated to McLean’s home because of behavioral problems while living with his mother, the report says, and that the child had an incident at school where he was disrespectful to his teacher.
The police report said the child could have ADHD and be autistic.
When officers located the boy, he told police he wanted move back with his mother.
“(The boy) advised that he ran away from his residence due to being punished for an incident that occurred at school,” the report says. “He stated that he was having trouble with math problems and had refused to complete the work. (The boy) stated that he told his teacher he wasn’t going to do the work.”
“(The boy) that his father punished him by having him hold a book bag that had been filled with books,” the report says. “He stated that he had to hold the bag and complete squats.”
When McLean arrived at the scene, he told police that the boy’s punishment was to stand in a corner.
The child also told police that McLean watched the children with cameras inside and outside the home. McLean told police the cameras were for show and didn’t record.
The report says the officer contacted Montgomery County Children’s Services and made contact with a woman who works there.
“I relayed to her the incident that had occurred on this date and the statements that were made to us by all parties,” the officer said.
Montgomery County Children Services spokesman Kevin Lavoie said the agency’s records are confidential and said the agency did not have an open case from the Kensington Drive at the time of Takoda’s death. Since then, the agency has an open case at the Kensington address.
Lavoie said the office is ensuring the safety of a 3-year-old who lived in the home at the time of the 10-year-old’s death, but Lavoie said he could not elaborate.
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