Life in prison: Stepfather of child saved by worried waitress sentenced for child abuse

A child abuse case that was in the national spotlight has finally come to a conclusion after the stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, who was accused of neglecting his stepson, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Police started investigating the claims after an alert waitress asked if a child was in need of help.

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Flavaine Carvalho told police that a family of four entered an Orange County, Florida, restaurant on New Year’s Day in 2021. The 11-year-old victim was separated from the rest of the family when they entered, WFTV reported.

Shortly after the arrest, Carvalho said in a news conference with police, that the whole family had food, except for the boy.

Carvalho said only a few inches of skin were not covered by the child’s hoodie, glasses and facemask, but she was able to see bruises on the child, near his eyes and other bruises on his body.

The waitress made a sign that read “Are you OK?” and held it so only the boy could see. At first, the boy shook his head “yes.” She didn’t believe him, so she made a second sign that read “Do you need help, OK?” This time, he nodded “yes.”

Carvalho first asked her boss what to do, before she called the police.

During their investigation, officers found that the child had been tortured, maliciously punished and was not allowed food or water for days at a time.

They also found that the child stayed in a hotel room that was being used for storage, separate from his stepfather, mother and younger sibling. The family was staying at an extended-stay hotel after recently moving to the region.

Police interviewed the boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, who admitted to knowing about the abuse and not getting medical treatment for him.

Swann was charged with two counts of child neglect.

The boy and his 4-year-old sister were both removed from Wilson and Swann’s custody. There were no indications that the girl suffered from physical abuse.

Last week, Wilson was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 30 years after being found guilty of 10 charges including false imprisonment of a child, aggravated child abuse with a weapon and child neglect, WFTV reported.