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Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014

Police find Logan 6-year-old chained to bed while father went to work

By Emiley Morgan, Deseret News

Published: Tue, June 10 4:05 p.m. MDT

 Police have taken the father of a 6-year-old Logan boy into custody after the child was discovered chained to a bed while his father went to work.

Police have taken the father of a 6-year-old Logan boy into custody after the child was discovered chained to a bed while his father went to work.

(Shutterstock)

LOGAN — Police have arrested a Logan man for investigation of child abuse after his 6-year-old son was discovered chained to a bed while he was at work.

Sammie Hodges, 28, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident, police said.

Police received an anonymous tip Tuesday that the child was being chained up in the home at 825 N. 1400 East while Hodges went to work, Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said. Officers responded around 11 a.m. and found the boy chained by his ankle to the bed frame.

"There was some snack-type food available to the child," Jensen said, adding that there was also water for the boy. "The chain was just long enough for him to get to the bathroom."

Police are investigating how often the child had been left alone or kept in those circumstances.

"He appears relatively healthy, albeit that's going to mess with your head," Jensen said. "But from a physical perspective, he appears to be healthy."

The child lives with his father and an adult female, who has no biological connection to the boy. The boy was placed in the care of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services on Tuesday.

Neighbor Maura Blair said she wishes she had noticed that something wasn't right at the home.

"We didn't look close enough at the signs," Blair said.

Trina Taylor, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah, said family, friends and neighbors can watch for signs of abuse, such as bruising in odd areas of the body.

"It's scary to report abuse sometimes," Taylor said, "and a lot of us, as adults, we're afraid, but we have to be the ones with courage. We have to be the brave ones to protect our children and be willing to make that phone call."

On Tuesday, that courage saved a young boy.

"Gosh, we're just grateful, grateful they were willing to take that step forward," Jensen said, "because had that person not taken that step forward, this child would still be chained to a bed."

According to a search of court records, Hodges was charged with domestic violence in the presence of a child, assault and disorderly conduct in 2008. He later pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and disorderly conduct.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com, acabrero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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1. LovelyDeseret
Gilbert, AZ,
June 10, 2014

I would take the child, and give him all the love he can handle. I believe we should protect our children and that this should be paramount.

2. LittleStream
Carson City, NV,
June 11, 2014

This is one of those times that you have to wonder why there isn't a requirement by Heavenly Father that we know how to be good parents before we become one. Our children pay so badly when they are mistreated. My own granddaughter who is 18 and has Asperger's syndrome is afraid of the dark because her mother put her in the closet as punishment on a visitation years ago. Dad must have been trying to save babysitting money. Didn't the little boy go to school? So glad the neighbors came forward. Many times neighbors and schools don't want to get involved and the child dies, or continues to be abused. My prayers are with this little boy! Wonder what he'll get his dad for father's day. Amazingly, these kids still love the abusing parent! The parents are blessed and they don't even know it.

3. A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY,
June 11, 2014

Here we are, faced with two conflicting news narratives this year in the Deseret News.

On the one hand, we've had a stream of real horror stories about the abuse, neglect, or homicide of children involving one or both parents. I've lost count of which number this one is.

On the other hand, we've had a plethora of news stories about Utah's fight for traditional marriage, supported by the State's filings (and breathless commenters), decrying the "horror" of letting those children currently being raised in same-sex households having their parents be allowed to marry. Or even co-adopt them.

Yet, so far, this year, none of the former stories have had anything to do with the latter.

Children's welfare should come first, and these stories either tell us that you can't simply bank on a particular gender combination of parents being some panacea, or it tells us that certain "traditional" couples are actually worse at this.

4. hockeymom
Highland, UT,
June 11, 2014

@ Little Stream
Don't blame Heavenly Father for a thing like this. We all have our free agency - Instead, let's thank Heavenly Father that the child has been found and ask for blessings to be poured out on the little guy and those who found him, along with his new caregivers. I'm sure Heavenly Father has been aware of the child, and has been protecting him from worse harm.

I agree that we should learn to be good parents before we are one. That's what those Jr. High fake baby classes are all about.

5. happymomto9
Saratoga Springs, UT,
June 11, 2014

@littlestream
if there were such a requirement from Heavenly Father, none of us would have any children!

very sad situation, but we don't know all the facts. clearly the person who chained the child was not trying to hurt him. my guess is that they are scrapping to get by. cannot afford child care. and left the child there with his basic needs being met so the parent can get to work without worrying about the child. not great, but i sincerely believe that the best solution is to help the parent, not just take the child away. very few "abusive" parents are like that because they WANT to be. they may need our love and guidance as much as their child does. (maybe he came from an even more difficult situation)

let's judge less and help more!