9-year-old boy claims he was locked in closet, fed once a day

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 11:20 PM

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- A 9-year old boy said the abuse he endured at home included starvation and captivity.

The report came from the boy who lived with his father Jorge Estrella and stepmom Aide Estrella in the 16400 block of Flint Run Way near Sugar Land.

Neighbors in the Village of Oak Lakes Subdivision were stunned to hear what allegedly happened.

"I think it's horrible. I'm just in a state of shock," said Letty Gentry. "I just can't believe anyone would lock a child in a closet and starve them."

But that's what the boy told authorities after escaping through an upstairs window and running to a neighbor for help.

That neighbor told us it was cold and raining that day in November and struggled to find the words to describe the condition of the child.

She said he was beaten, burned and his face was so swollen that he could barely open his eyes. She brought him in, gave him food, and the family called 911.

The boy was one of six children living in the house according to authorities.

The boy told investigators that the abuse went on for a year and he never went to school. He said that he was locked in a downstairs closet for days at a time and barely had enough food to survive.

"I really hoped the child could have gotten some kind of help sooner opposed to having doing something like that as far as going to a teacher or notifying another family member," said neighbor Chris Briscoe.

The Estrellas were indicted on multiple counts of injury to a child, and CPS took all the children away.

Jorge Estrella's attorney Shawn McDonald says his client never abused the boy and the truth will come out in court. He told KHOU that the boy has some type of condition that includes swelling and that the boy was never denied medical treatment as stated in the indictment.

The 9-year-old is recovering with a foster family and safe in the knowledge he'll never have to go back to that house again.

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