• Authorities discovered that the child abuse situation in the house was worse than initially thought
  • The 5-year-old boy was often starved as a means of punishment
  • The child was found with 46 visible injuries and some internal injuries, including a fractured skull

A Florida couple allegedly subjected the children in their home to severe abuse, including caging one of them and forcing another to drink boiling hot water.

Taylor B. Schaefer, 28, and her live-in boyfriend, Shawn M. Stone, 32, are facing around two dozen charges each of their own for the "brutal pattern of child neglect, abuse and torture" in their Volusia County home, the Volusia Sheriff's Office said in a Saturday statement.

Authorities began investigating the incident after Schaefer called 911 earlier in May and claimed she had a "gut feeling" that her boyfriend was abusing her 5-year-old son, according to WFLA.

The 911 call led to Stone being arrested on one count of aggravated child abuse on May 9. The three children in the house were removed and placed in a safe environment the same day.

I want to commend these deputies for making quick work of tracking down our Scumbag of the Week. This morning, Shawn M. Stone punched, kicked, and used a mop handle to beat a 5-year-old child who had...

As the investigation ensued, authorities discovered that the child abuse situation in the house was worse than initially thought. Investigators learned that Schaefer was aware of the ongoing abuse but failed to inform authorities about it.

"The investigation revealed multiple recordings of the victim receiving beatings while Schaefer was present in the house, as well as several instances where he was visibly injured and limping in her presence, but received no care or medical attention," the sheriff's office said. "On the day that Schaefer did report the abuse, video showed her mopping up the area where the victim was beaten with the mop handle."

Apart from being beaten up, investigators found that the 5-year-old child was kept with his hands bound behind his back from 6:43 p.m. until 2:02 p.m. the following day on one occasion.

Another occasion captured Stone standing over the boy while his legs, feet, arms and torso were bound for at least an hour.

During some instances where Stone was abusing the boy, Schaefer was also filmed entering the frame and telling the boy to stand up straight.

Apart from the abuse captured on film, the investigation revealed that the 5-year-old boy was also tied up and placed inside a dog cage. He was also often starved as a means of punishment, News 6 reported.

The boy was provided medical attention following Stone's initial arrest, and he was found with 46 visible injuries and some internal injuries that included a fractured skull.

Another child inside the house was also subjected to abuse, officials said.

The second child "was forced to drink boiling water, sprayed with boiling water, and beaten with several household objects. That child also witnessed the brutal abuse inflicted on the younger victim," the sheriff's office wrote. "Evidence was also obtained that a third child victim in the house was not receiving the proper nutrition or care for a serious medical condition, and was also witnessing the constant abuse."

Stone is currently facing an additional 23 charges for repeated acts of abuse and neglect. Schaefer is facing 25 similar charges for being aware of the abuse, witnessing it and continually failing to intervene or report it.

Representational image (police car)
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / diegoparra)