Boy, 3, dies after being beaten, strung up by his feet while being ‘systematically tortured’

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WEST CALN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- They hung a 3-year-old boy up by his feet, beat him and duct taped him to a chair.

In the end, police say the three days of abuse were enough to kill 3-year-old Scotty McMillan. According to WPVI, Jillian Tait, the boy’s mother, and Gary Fellenbaum, Tait's boyfriend, were arrested Thursday in connection with the boy’s death.

Medical crews found the boy with bruises, cuts and puncture wounds across his body. He was beaten with weapons such as a whip, a curtain rod and a strip of aluminum, investigators said. They called it the worst case of abuse they’ve ever seen.

The motive? Investigators said it started Tuesday after the boy wouldn’t eat breakfast.

Scotty's 6-year-old brother, Ryan McMillan, was also beaten. Both children are Tait's from a previous relationship. All four moved tino a trailer in West Caln Township last month with Fellenbaum's wife and their 11-month-old daughter.

Police say Fellenbaum and Tait abused both boys for weeks, but the violence escalated Tuesday.

"While they were doing that they were laughing," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. "Over a three-day period … he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall.”

Police say Scotty was beaten so badly that he became unresponsive, but instead of getting help, Tait and Fellenbaum left him alone an an air mattress.

"They went shopping and went out for pizza and came back and fooled around," Hogan said.

Fellenbaum's wife found Scotty dead and called 911. The DA says she knew about the beatings and never called police. She's now facing child endangerment charges.

"Nothing ever in this park ever happened like this. It hurts everybody," neighbor Cindy Clevenscine said.

The DA says he plans to seek justice for Scotty.

"We will seek the death penalty in this case," Hogan said.


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