Stepdad, 36, bruised and FORCED teen to live in ‘crawl space’ under house – faces a life sentence

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36-year-old Truman Sitting Eagle has pleaded guilty to assault causing serious bodily injury after he was charged with torturing and starving his 13-year-old stepson with his wife.

What Happened?

The man from Wyoming forced the boy to live in a crawl space under his home in the town of Araphoe with no access to food.

How the Boy Was Saved

Matt Lee, a school resource officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, made multiple attempts to find him but was unsuccessful, per FBI.

On December 12, Lee demanded to see him and Sitting Eagle eventually relented, revealing that he’d been hiding in the crawl space.

The boy had bruises and a swollen face, with Lee reporting he’d appeared to have lost ten pounds since the last time he saw him.

He was taken to a local healthcare facility before being airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City, about 300 miles south.  

While hospitalized, it was observed that his arms, chest and back were bruised and his fingers, face, ear and scalp had cuts, per Cowboy State Daily. 

He was only able to move slowly and said he was in pain and very hungry, having not eaten for several days save a sandwich and some chips in the last 24 hours. 

The Boy Narrated How He Was Tortured

When he was interviewed by investigators, he said that his stepfather Sitting Eagle and his mother – Kandace Sitting Eagle, 33 – told him he was causing a mouse problem and stealing food from them. 

The Sitting Eagles tied his bedroom door closed but the boy was able to escape and get food, the FBI claimed in an affidavit. 

‘This made them mad. They put a lock on his door. They also screwed the window shut so he could not get out that way,’ the report said.

He even accused them of punching him in the face and hitting them when they caught him stealing food.

He Was Unconscious at a Time

At one point, stepfather Truman put the boy in a chokehold until he had gone unconscious. When he woke up, his stepfather hit him.

The boy’s mother was ‘taking care of the babies or taking the girls to school’ when her husband did this to her son.  

‘You need to quit hitting that boy or something bad will happen,’ Kandace said, according to the FBI, who said that at one point Truman hit the boy so hard his hands ‘swelled up like balloons.’

READ ALSO: Mother killed son, 3, AFTER she deliberately scalded and shook him because he was messing with his food

Kandace did hit her son as well, but he said that ‘her hits did not hurt.’ 

His memory had become ‘foggy,’ at one point he misremembered having been let out of his room for Thanksgiving. 

The mother and stepfather would yell at him, only occasionally giving him leftovers to eat. 

The boy’s siblings – all under the age of nine – were interviewed by federal agents and they all confirmed that their brother had been hit. 

What Will Happen to the Stepdad and His Wife?

Sitting Eagle will be sentenced on July 9 and faces no fewer than ten years in a federal prison and could be given a life sentence.

Wife Kandace’s prosecution is still in progress and has yet to enter a guilty plea. She faces multiple felonies connected to the abuse and confinement her son suffered.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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