Hearing to determine custody for 13-year-old boy found caged, starving

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A custody hearing on Tuesday could be the next step toward a safe home life for the 13-year-old Brevard County boy who was found weighing only 40 pounds and locked up and starving last week.

The boy's father, Michael Marshall, and Marshall's girlfriend, Sharon Glass, will be brought to the courthouse from the Brevard County Jail, where they both are being held on no bond and facing new charges.

Interviews with two of the other children in the house have led to more charges of abusing and neglecting a 10-year-old and 15-year-old.

According to Titusville police, two additional counts of aggravated child abuse (caging) and three additional charges of child neglect are being filed against Marshall and Glass.

Investigators arrested the two on March 15 after a neighbor tipped off police that the 13-year-old boy was being caged in closets, bathrooms and sometimes zip-tied to a bed.

That neighbor spoke anonymously to WFTV.

"I went to give him a hug and all I felt was shirt, skin and bones, malnutrition I didn't know what to think," said the neighbor.

Police said the boy was emaciated and weighed only 40 pounds when they found him. Police say he had been caged and starved for weeks at a time.

"I heard it and I just said, 'Please God don't let it be him,' and then they said his name," said his former teacher, Rhonda Rochon. "He was thin and small then, now it is quite a bit ... it's shockingly different."

Rochon said she warned DCF and the police about the boy's condition in 2010 after the elementary school suspected Marshall and Glass were starving him.

DCF investigated the family, but did not find anything criminal. Now, officials are looking back at those findings to make sure nothing was overlooked.

Investigators also said that another child, a 10-year-old sibling of the abused boy, was sometimes locked in a closet for several days at a time and forced to stand guard while the older child was caged.

Police also said that Marshall and Glass neglected to maintain the health and well-being of another boy, 15, by interfering with his ability to attend school.

DCF has also removed the 10-year-old and 15-year-old from the home.

A judge will give further guidance to DCF as they try to ensure the kids are in the best possible living conditions as doctors and a nutritionist try to improve the health of the 13-year-old.

The 13-year-old boy is now being monitored by doctors and a nutritionist.

There's been an outpouring of support for the kids by the community, including a flood of donations of clothes, money and gifts.

Click here to find out how you can donate.

The shelter hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. at the courthouse in Viera.

WFTV will be in the courtroom and will update this story as it develops.