TROY, Mo. (CN) - Believing a 6-year-old boy was "too nice," his mother, aunt and grandmother had him kidnapped, bound, threatened with a gun, stripped of his pants and told he could be sold into "sex slavery," a Missouri sheriff said.
Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle said the kidnapping conspiracy was meant to teach the little boy "a terrorizing life lesson."
Charged with felony kidnapping, felonious restraint and felony abuse and neglect of a child are Nathan Firoved, 23, a friend of the family; Rose Brewer, 58, the boy's grandmother; and Denise Kroutil, 38, his aunt. The boy's mother, Elizabeth Hupp, 25, is charged with felony kidnapping and felony abuse and neglect of a child, the sheriff said in a statement.
Cottle said that Kroutil hatched the scheme with a coworker, Firoved, as a way to "scare" her nephew out of being "too nice to people." The sheriff said the boy's mom and grandmother agreed to the scheme.
So on Feb. 2, Firoved, who didn't know the boy, lured him into his pickup truck near a bus stop and told the boy that he would "never see his mommy again" and that he would be "nailed to the wall of a shed," according to the sheriff's statement.
When the little boy cried, Firoved allegedly brandished a handgun and ordered him to stop crying.
Firoved bound the boy's hands and feet with plastic bags and wrapped a jacket around his head, the sheriff said. He drove the boy around for a while and then dumped him in the basement of the boy's own house, still tied up and blinded by the jacket, according to the sheriff.
Then his aunt Denise Kroutil came downstairs and pulled off his pants, and, angry because he did not try to resist her, she told him he could be "sold into sex slavery" and left him alone in the basement "for some time" before unbinding him and taking him upstairs for a family lecture about "stranger danger," the sheriff said.
The boy told school officials, who alerted the Division of Family Services, which placed the child into protective custody. Deputies arrested the four adults on Feb. 4 after Family Services alerted them.
The sheriff said Firoved and the women kept in touch via cell phones during the 4-hour ordeal as they terrorized the boy. "Family members told investigators their primary intent was to educate the victim and felt they did nothing wrong," the sheriff said in his statement.
The four adults are in the Lincoln County Jail under a $250,000 cash-only bond. The case remains under investigation.
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