Kids Safety 101

Boy Locked in Room Dies After Severe Abuse and Neglect

Recently, an engaged couple in Annville, Pennsylvania was arrested on suspicion of trapping, torturing, and ultimately killing the man’s 12-year-old son, whose name was Max Schollenberg.

Lebanon County authorities found the deceased boy in “deplorable conditions,” said the county’s District Attorney (DA) Pier Hess Graf in a press conference.

According to Graf, although they found Max’s body in the couple’s home on May 26, a long and arduous investigation had to take place before they could arrest the killers. This is partly because Max’s father, Scott Schollenberg (42), and his fiancée, Kimberly Maurer (35), had three other young children. Apparently, they made the investigation more complex.

Scott and Kimberly face charges of criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, and endangering the welfare of children.

‘I will not call this living’

Max Schollenberger lived in a home in Annville in southeast PA with Scott, Kimberly, and the other three children, his half-siblings, who are reportedly all under the age of 5. Apparently, the parents treated them normally while treating Max with inhumane abuse and neglect.

The three young children reportedly lived relatively regular lives, eating plenty, and going to school. Meanwhile, Max ate their table scraps, and his parents had never enrolled him in school. It had also been over ten years since Max had last seen a physician.

“Max Schollenberger existed – I will not call this living, and I never will – he existed in a state of perpetual suffering,” Graf said. “He existed in the most deplorable, the foulest, the most heinous of human conditions.”

Police found Max dead in inhumane living conditions

When authorities searched the home, they found Max naked on his bed. Fecal matter covered the bed itself as molding human waste laid across the rest of the room.

Reports say that Max looked starved and malnourished, and he had hardly any muscle mass and weakened bones.

An autopsy on the child’s body showed that blunt force trauma ultimately killed him. His fragile condition complicated the injury. We don’t yet know what kind of “blunt force trauma” that entailed.

A neighbor was suspicious

The horrendous crime scene hid for too long within the couple’s seemingly normal home. Scott and Kimberly literally locked Max in his room, feeding him nothing but table scraps.

“The shades were taped to the window frames and the doors were screwed shut; the window coverings rendered the child unable to see in or out,” Graf said.

Had a neighbor not called the police after having a conversation with Kimberly that left them feeling unsettled, the authorities may not have noticed anything was amiss.

Katy Holloway