Poplar Bluff parents arrested after son was found living in deplorable conditions

The mother and father of a Poplar Bluff boy were arrested after police found their son living in deplorable conditions.

On May 10, officers with the Poplar Bluff Police Department were called to the 1200 block of Harper Street.

Officers say they found a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome being kept in an empty bedroom with a concrete floor and no lighting.

The house was described as infested with cockroaches and piled with so much debris that it limited the amount of space in the home.

The boy had numerous scars and bruises when officers arrived.

Doctors say the child was suffering from severe wasting of soft tissue with loss of both subcutaneous fat and muscle tissue. There was also evidence of severe physical abuse suggestive of torture. That abuse is said to have the risk of serious complications including death.

The child was taken to a St. Louis hospital.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of the boy’s parents, 41-year-old Michael West and 35-year-old Vanessa May.

They were arrested on May 15.

May is in the Butler County Justice Center on a $250,000 cash only bond.

West is also in the Butler County justice Center on a $500,000 cash only bond. He is facing charges of abuse to a vulnerable person 2nd degree, two counts of child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child 1st degree.

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