exposing the dark side of adoption
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Abuse charges brought after boy left in garage



Staff Writer

TAVARES -- A couple has been charged with abuse and neglect after police say they made their adopted, 6-year-old son sleep in the garage because he would urinate too often.

Police arrested Mikelann and Steven Renwick on Friday night and arrested them on one count each of aggravated child abuse and neglect, a police report shows.

The boy was take to Florida Hospital Waterman after his mother said he suffered an apparent seizure.

Nursing staff members said the mother's story was inconsistent. Mikelann Renwick, 47, said the boy had been drinking a lot of fluids recently and has been having a hard time controlling his bladder.

Police went to the hospital on Wednesday because the boy had suffered severe injuries to his head, legs and body.

Police then interviewed hospital staff, investigators with the Department of Children and Families, and the boy's siblings and found out the boy was made to sleep in the garage.

When DCF removed the children from the home, an investigator asked Steven Renwick, 55, if the boy sleeps in the laundry room with the dogs. Renwick said: "We have to put him somewhere. He pees all over the place," according to the arrest affidavit.

DCF interviewed all of the adopted children, an arrest affidavit said. One child told investigators that Mikelann Renwick puts the 6-year-old in the garage and tells him to stay there, that the boy was only allowed out of the garage at lunch and dinner and that the boy sleeps with the dogs in the laundry room.

The 6-year-old also suffered bruises and lacerations consistent with the children's story that their parents spanked them with a switch when they misbehaved, the affidavit said.

By Saturday, the Renwicks had each posted $12,000 bail and were released from the Lake County jail.

All their adopted children have been turned over to DCF custody, the affidavit said

2010 Aug 22