Malnourished boy found in attic is recovering well

DE SOTO, Kansas - A 6-year-old boy found malnourished and filthy in the attic of a De Soto, Kansas, home is recovering.

The grandparents of 6-year-old Giovanni called the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday to check on the welfare of the boy.

They hadn’t seen him in months.

When investigators arrived at the home in the 8200 block of Center Drive the boys’ mother 26-year-old Rachel Perez told them he wasn’t there.

She was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant.

Deputies went back to the duplex later that evening. That is when they found Giovanni in the attic.

"There was so much feces everywhere, the crib was full of feces. It was just a total mess in there." He says the attic was no different,” said the property owner Tom Roberson.

The boy weighed about 20 pounds. He was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“The best news of the day is Giovanni is doing better. He seems to be recovering and everybody is thankful for that,” says Sarah Swain an attorney for the grandparents.

She tells NBC Action News that the boy has always been small and suffers from Down Syndrome.

Perez is pregnant. She also has two young daughters. All three children are now in state custody.

The grandparents hope to change that soon.

“They are hopeful that they will be able to go to court and fight and win custody of the kids,” says Swain.

They have a custody hearing scheduled in October.

Perez is charged with child abuse and endangerment.

She is in jail with a $250,000 bond.

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