exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Couple Arrested For Allegedly Abusing Adopted Children


TAVARES, Fla. -- A Lake County couple is facing child abuse and neglect charges after claiming their adopted 6-year-old son fell down the stairs.

Tavares police say a 6-year-old boy suffered inside his home on Etowah Park Boulevard.

Investigators say his adoptive parents Steven and Mikelann Renwick beat the child with switches and made him sleep in the laundry room with their dogs.

Eyewitness News crews knocked on the door of the home and tried to get answers from a woman who opened the door.

"Did they make this 6-year-old boy sleep in the garage?" WFTV reporter Kenneth Moton asked.

Police say the couple claim the 6-year-old who they just adopted a year and a half ago fell down the stairs and had a seizure.

Mikelann Renwick took him to the hospital where investigators say doctors spotted signs of abuse.

The couple moved to Tavares from a home in Sanford two weeks ago.

Former neighbor Tom Robertson says he never saw the two abuse the boy or their three other children who were also adopted.

"Never, never seem like that type, they were just real nice, real religious," explained Robertson.

Police say a sibling told them her parents put the boy in the garage because he would urinate on himself constantly.

She says the boy was only allowed out of the garage during lunch and dinner and he was only fed vegetable and baby food.

"There are ways to treat kids...you just don't lock them away because they make a mistake," said Robertson.

The 6-year-old boy was severely malnourished. He is recovering at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Both Steven and Mikelann Renwick are out of jail on $12,000 bond each.

Eyewitness News reported on a similar case in Seminole County earlier this month.

The Department of Children and Families says worker were pulling case files today to make sure there's not a trend going on.

2010 Aug 21