A Sarasota man and his girlfriend were arrested after a hungry child was zip-tied to a piece of plywood, deputies said.
Sarasota County deputies were alerted Sunday to the child abuse case. After obtaining a search warrant, they said they found the zip ties and plywood inside the home of 41-year-old Frank McKay.
According to the sheriff's office, the 13-year-old victim was bound to the plywood because he had stolen food and money to buy snacks. He had to sleep without a mattress or any linens, detectives said.
"He was zip-tied to that piece of plywood for at least two months, and more specifically over the last week or so, the individuals who were taking care of him were not giving him proper food or linens or a mattress at all," said Kaitlyn Perez, spokesperson for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives said the boy was given a salad, a banana and two bottles of water each day while remaining tied to the plywood.
"The child stole food and the individual arrested today was upset about him having access to food and stealing food and so he removed his mattress and zip-tied him to wood," Perez said. "To walk into a home like that and see pieces of plywood it's beyond inhumane."
Investigators say the child was also bound while visiting McKay's girlfriend, 38-year-old Adecia Johnson.
Both were arrested on several charges including aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment.
Officials did not specify the relationship between McKay and the victim.