SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Sarasota couple is accused of binding a 13-year-old boy to plywood and forcing the child to sleep on the material.
On Sunday, deputies searched the home of 41-year-old Frank McKay after learning of his involvement in a possible child abuse incident. There, deputies found zip ties and plywood, which the 13-year-old victim said was used to bind him to a piece of plywood.
Deputies say they were tipped off by someone who brought them cell phone video and photos that showed the boy restrained.
The child told deputies he was forced to sleep on the plywood without any mattress or linens. He said the restraints began about two months ago as punishment for stealing food and money from McKay.
He was allegedly given a banana, some salad, and two bottles of water a day while he was bound to the plywood.
“All our special victims unit detectives, I can tell you with certainty, have kids of their own,” said Kaitlyn Perez with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office. “So it’s never easy when we’re called to the scene of an incident like this.”
Investigators said the abuse likely occurred at both McKay’s home and work, as well as while he and the boy visited his girlfriend, 38-year-old Adecia Johnson, at her Sarasota home.
Both the sheriff’s office and Sarasota Police are investigating.
McKay’s neighbors, like Jewel Johnson, say they never would have suspected anything horrible happening inside the home.
“I was shocked,” Johnson said. “Because he’s an all-around nice guy, always nice to his neighbors, always friendly.”
McKay is charged with two counts of False Imprisonment and two counts of Aggravated Child Abuse. He is being held without bond.
Deputies said McKay has an extensive criminal history with arrests for burglary, drug possession and contempt of court for non-payment of child support.
Johnson is charged with false imprisonment and aggravated child abuse. She is also being held without bond.
“Both are familiar with the law, and if you ask me, neither should be responsible for children,” Perez said.