‘I Couldn’t Get Out’: 9-Year-Old Iowa Boy Clutching Stuffed Animal Tells Judge Couple Locked Him Under Basement Stairs

ELDORA, Iowa (KRVR)  A 9-year-old boy clutched a stuffed animal as he told a judge that his father’s girlfriend often withheld food and helped lock him under a staircase in the basement at their Iowa home.

“I couldn’t get out” of the basement enclosure, the boy testified Wednesday in an Eldora courtroom at the bench trial of 40-year-old Traci Tyler.

Tyler and the boy’s father, Alex Shadlow, are being tried separately on kidnapping charges, accused of locking the then-8-year-old in the basement of their Ackley home for at least nine hours a day in the summer of 2017.

The boy said the basement was dark and “super cold,” and that he was scared because he had been told a dog had died or been buried in the basement where he had to sleep without bedding, The Des Moines Register reported.

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”

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