A boy who was rescued from a home in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2010 by police officers after being abused by his mother was reunited with them Nov. 5.
Giovanni Eastwood, nicknamed Govi, was a 6-year-old who weighed just 17 pounds when police found him locked in the attic of the house, The Kansas City Star reported.
Now 13, Govi is healthier than ever and was helping officers run an anti-bullying campaign for local kids.
“To what happened that night to today, it’s just night and day,” Sgt. Brent Moore told The Kansas City Star.
Police initially visited the home of Rachel Perez, which they found to be in a poor condition and smelling of urine. Two of her children were taken into care.
Perez frequently locked Govi up when she went out and kept him separate from relatives. Patricia Moran, Govi’s great-grandmother, became concerned after Perez’s arrest because Govi was missing.
“He’s in there,” Moran told officers, referring to the house. “I know he’s in there.”
Officers returned to the house and called out his name. They heard a sound from the attic and went to investigate.
They opened the hatch and saw Govi crouching. He was so emaciated that his arms were as thin as garden hoses.
“You see pictures from World War II,” Moore said. “He was like that.”
“The child was completely emaciated and had open wounds, feces and urine all over his body,” according to court documents. “It appeared as though the child hadn’t eaten in days and most of his bones were visible.”
Govi was treated in hospital. He was adopted by Stacey Eastwood, one of his relatives, who says the sixth grader now has a healthy appetite.
“He’s a spotlight, you know,” she said. “He likes to be the center of attention.”
Govi was presented with a plaque declaring him a “true champion” and officers also made him an honorary deputy on the police force.
“Wow, that little boy has come a long way,” added Capt. Mark Rokusek, who participated in the rescue six years ago. “It’s so comforting to know he’s in a loving home.”
Sources: Kansas City Star (2) / Photo credit: Handout via Daily Mail, Facebook via Daily Mail