The District Attorney’s Office for the District of Lebanon, Pennsylvania announced that a couple are facing murder charges in the recent death of a 12-year-old boy.
According to County Prosecutor Pierre Hess Graf, Scott Schollenberger, the biological father of the child, and Kimberly Maurer are accused of committing criminal murders, endangering the child’s well-being and conspiracy.
The DA says that Maurer has worked as a 12-year-old stepmother for the past decade.
The criminal complaint against the couple states that officers at the Anville County Police Department responded to a South White Oak Street home on May 26, 2020, for a report on the death of a 12-year-old. The officers, who initially responded to the scene of the accident, immediately requested assistance in the investigation from the Lebanese Bureau of Investigation due to the “appalling conditions” that were discovered inside the house.
In the complaint, investigators stated that the child was found naked on his bed. Police say the bed and the boy’s body were covered in feces and that the scent emanating from the child’s room could be smelled all over the house.
The complaint stated that the child’s room did not have any kind of lighting, and that the curtains were fixed on the window frames in the room. The investigator also found that a window above the crib was permanently covered with vented doors, which required tools to open them.
Investigators say the child’s room was almost completely empty and lacked any other type of furniture except for a “stool covered bed.” Authorities discovered some pieces of clothing near the crib, all of which were covered in excrement.
Investigators say the only liquid in the child’s room was a plastic cup containing just one inch of water.
The complaint adds that the child’s body appeared to suffer from malnutrition, and that the locks of the door allowed the child’s parents to lock him in his room “as they wanted.”
After investigation, investigators discovered that the child’s parents had failed to take him to doctors’ appointments or enroll him in any kind of education.
Authorities also discovered that Schollenberger and Moerer had children together and raised them as a family unit. The investigators found that every other child in the house appeared to be healthy, taken care of, and attending school regularly.
Investigators say that some relatives and friends of the defendants reported that they did not see the victim “at some point,” and some were not aware of his existence.
A forensic autopsy was performed on the baby’s body on June 1, 2020, by Michael W. Johnson, MD, at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Dr. Johnson reported the following in a forensic autopsy report: Multiple findings consistent with hunger, malnutrition, and multiple severe trauma throughout a child’s head, face, and body.
The doctor specifically noted that the baby weighed only 47.5 pounds when he died, and was only 50 inches tall. It wasn’t close to the right size, weight, or stature for a child his age.
All four limbs of the child showed an acute lack of muscle mass; His bones themselves showed a state of weakness. In conclusion, Dr. Johnson opined that the child died as a result of severe head trauma complicating starvation / malnutrition. Ruling on the death of a child as murder.
“Crimes like this are painful, both for society and for the law enforcement authorities involved. I would like to commend the FBI and Anville Town Police for their thorough and detailed investigation. Our office will always fight for the vulnerable and defenseless victims,” said DA Graf.