Boyfriend Released, Mom's Bail Increased In Camden Child Abuse

Boyfriend Released, Mom's Bail Increased In Camden Child Abuse Case

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

"It's a tragedy for him, for his siblings."

Lori D'Arpino says she was shocked to hear that a 10-year-old boy had allegedly been chained up to a radiator pipe in the home just a few feet from the community garden where she works in Camden as a volunteer each week.

"I just didn't see any signs, it just hit home," she told FOX 29. "No bruises, they were clean. They just seemed like happy little kids...he was just an energetic 10 year old who was interested in the garden and what we were growing."

In fact, D'Arpino says the boy and his brothers and sisters used to help her in the garden almost every time she came here to harvest vegetables for the community.

"The kids would come to the garden, help out in the garden, they enjoyed being here, very enthusiastic, wonderful kids. I  couldn't say enough about them," she said.

The boy's mother, Florence Pollard, remains jailed on $100,000 bail, on criminal restraint and endangering charges. Her boyfriend, Brian Craig, was released on $50,000 bail. He faces the same charges. The 10-year-old and his five siblings are now in protective custody.

"Towards mid summer, I really didn't see them that much and they just stopped coming," D'Arpino said. "I guess that's when things started to go down."

D'Arpino, a mother of five children herself,  says she saw the 10-year-old boy running from the house earlier this week. Police say he was trying to escape being chained to the radiator and forced to sleep on the floor uncovered.

"I just feel really sad for them. If I would have known I would have done something but it just didn't seem like there was anything wrong," she said. "It's really a shame that his parents felt there was no other outlet to go or be. To abuse their kids is pretty sad."

In addition to her six children, Pollard has another child on the way. State officials refused to comment on their investigation. Camden Police continue to investigate whether there was any other abuse involving the other children.

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