If You Don’t Notice Your Child Is Dead For Four Days, I’m Judging You
In what is probably the most messed up piece of news that I’ve read in days, a profoundly disabled boy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was decomposing in his feces-smeared room for days before his mother knew anything about it. Believe it or not, the entire story gets more confusing and fucked up from there, leaving me to wonder how these people were able to maintain custody of all of their children for so long.
Kimberly Tutko only realized that her eight-year-old autistic son was dead when she smelled a foul odor coming from the third floor bedroom belonging to her son, Jarrod Tutko, Jr.
According to Penn Live, Tutko’s husband, Jarrod Sr., was aware of the situation but hesitant to bring it to his wife’s attention until much later:
“Kimberly Tutko said she noticed a strange odor coming from the third floor of her Green Street home Friday night.
Her husband, Jarrod Nicholas Tutko, went upstairs and came back with body of their eight-year-old son, Jarrod Jr., wrapped in a sheet and laid him on the bathroom floor, she said.
Believing the boy had just died, Kimberly Tutko said she pulled the sheet back and quickly realized he had been dead for several days.
Kimberly Tutko said her husband told her the child died on Tuesday.
“I said to him ‘Why didn’t you say anything?'” Kimberly Tutko said. “He said he was too afraid to say anything because of other kids in the house.”
Kimberly Tutko said she then called 911.”
Jarrod Jr. had multiple diagnoses including autism, failure to thrive, and Fragile X syndrome, which is a genetic mutation that can affect several facets of development including behavioral and cognitive functions. Jarrod required round the clock care, which his father, Jarrod Sr., provided, because, “He would rip up the flooring and carpeting of his bedroom, smear his feces on the floor and walls, and refused to wear a diaper. He did not attend school because he was agitated by loud noises.”
Kimberly had her hands full with their five other children, between the ages of three and 13 years old, most of which cope with various health issues of their own: one daughter is blind, deaf, autistic, has a collapsed lung and requires a feeding tube. Because that child requires so much of Kimberly’s care, the mother said she had not seen her son since 2010.
All of the children have been removed from the home pending an investigation, and the father has been charged with endangering the welfare of children, concealing the death of a child, and abuse of a corpse.
This story is obviously horrible on multiple levels; at the core of the situation is a dead child, and that on its own is a tragedy. Beyond that, there is so much going on that it is difficult to look at the entire scenario without suspicion.