Boy tortured in basement while family lived upstairs

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Richard and Cynthia Kelly
Credit Twitter

BOY, 14, was starved and tortured in a basement while his family lived upstairs for years

14-year-old Ethan Kelly was kept imprisoned in a filthy basement for 23 hours a day by his adoptive parents, Shelby County Court heard on Thursday, November 12. Ethan, now 18, who said his life was so horrific he often prayed for death, was eventually hospitalised in 2016 when he weighed just 55 pounds, was in acute respiratory shock and was unable to speak.

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“I cried every night and prayed for Jesus to end it all,” Ethan said during a sentencing hearing.

“I’m not who I used to be,” Ethan said. “I’m not even who I was supposed to be. I lived the story of Cinderella with no happy ending.”


Richard and Cynthia Kelly had two other children and a dog that they reportedly took care of on the upper level of the home, even throwing a birthday party for the dog, while Ethan was confined to the basement, severely malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia.

Because Mr and Mrs Kelly agreed to a plea deal, Judge William H Bostick could only give them a maximum of 10 years behind bars – which he did.


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