Pa. boy, 12, lived in a ‘state of perpetual suffering’ before being starved, beaten to death, DA says

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Pa. boy, 12, lived in a ‘state of perpetual suffering’ before being starved, beaten to death, DA says


The siblings of a 12-year-old central Pennsylvania boy who was found beaten and starved to death and covered in feces in his family’s home “were told to ignore him and not talk to him,” the district attorney said Monday morning.

That was just part of the torture Maxwell Schollenberger suffered at the hands of his father Scott Schollenberger Jr. and his father’s fiancée Kimberly Maurer, who both are charged with homicide, Lebanon County DA Pier Hess Graf said.

“This tiny 12-year-old boy never knew the unconditional love from a family,” Graf said during a press conference on the homicide charges filed against Scott Schollenberger, 42 and Maurer 35. “Max Schollenberger existed,” she said. “I will not call this living. He existed in a state of perpetual suffering.”

That suffering lasted for years at the family’s Annville home on South White Oak Street, she said. Graf said the boy was kept in his own dark bare room with the door locked from the outside. The blinds on the windows were duct taped shut. The shutters on a window by his bed were nailed closed, the DA said.

There wasn’t a single electric light, not one toy and no furniture in the second-floor bedroom other than the feces-caked bed on which the boy’s body was found on May 26, Graf said. The boy never received medical care and never went to school, the DA said. She said police were called after Maurer told a neighbor about the child’s death.

“By the time of his death he was in that room 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Graf said.

Scott Schollenberger and Maurer have three other young children together, Graf said. “Those children went to the doctor and those children went to school,” she said. None of them were abused or malnourished, she said.

“Every other room (in the house) was normal,” Graf said. “There was an abundance of food…and that food went to every other person in the household, except for Max Schollenberger.”

She said it appears Max only received table scraps, when he was fed at all. When he died, he was in such a state that he could no longer digest food, Graf said. Such a deterioration – the boy was too weak to walk or stand and weighted only 47 ½ pounds, about half as much as a normal 12-year-old – would have taken quitesome time, she said.

Investigators have blamed his death on malnutrition and head trauma.

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