Police acting on an anonymous tip searched inside a Pennsylvania couple’s Halifax Township home in December 2016, reports WRCB.
Joshua and Brandi Weyant were raising a 6-year-old boy and two girls, ages 4 and 5, but they weren’t the Weyants’ biological children.
On Facebook, two years ago, Brandi Weyant wrote:
Happy 6th Birthday Jon-Thomas. Over the past 3.5 plus years of raising you and watching you grow you have become a very opinionated little man. I love you to the moon and back you are mommas baby boy the last of my little men! Slow down on growing up!
When officials inspected the couple’s home they found the husband and wife had locked the children in a room.
According to Metro, the kids were weeks away from dying of malnutrition when Child Protective Services found them. Investigators discovered the bedroom walls had been “peeled off as high as the children could reach.” Police concluded they were eating the paint “to try and survive.”
As Penn Live reports, The Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said:
“They looked like they had walked out of a concentration camp.”
The couple deprived the kids in their care of food for “being bad.” They were left in an empty bedroom with no beds, toys, or furniture as a punishment.
During interviews, the children told police they were being punished for trying to steal food. However, Metro reports, the husband and wife were trying to starve the kids because Joshua Weyant no longer wanted to look after them.
The New York Post reports that Joshua, 35, and Brandi, 39, pleaded guilty in February to aggravated assault, conspiracy, false imprisonment, unlawful restraining, and child endangerment.Dauphin County Jail
On Monday, in Dauphin County Court, Joshua Weyant was sentenced to 19.5 to 39.5 years in prison. Brandi Weyant was sentenced to 18.75 to 37.5 years.
Prosecutors said the children are now in foster care “thriving” since police took them out of the Weyants’ home, reports Penn Live.