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Family of Manatee Co. boy who died of abuse and starvation charged with murder

Manatee Co. Sheriff's Office investigated 5 cases
Posted at 11:02 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 13:05:52-04

MYAKKA CITY, Fla. -- A boy from Manatee County died last week in Indiana and investigators said there were signs of abuse and starvation.

Monroe County investigators in Indiana said 12-year-old Eduardo Posso was restrained with shackles and a dog collar before he died.

Investigators said the boy weighed nearly 40 pounds less than the average 12-year-old.

The child's father, Luis Posso, and his stepmother, Dayan Flores, were arrested and are facing murder charges.

They were initially held on $500,000 surety bond, but it was revoked on Friday, according to Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain.

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"It never came to my head that they were going to chain him up like an animal or they were not going to feed him," said the boy's biological mother, Aurea Esmerlda Garcia.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office investigated the boy's family five times, dating back to March 2017.

Manatee County deputies shared a photo of the child who appeared to be happy. The photo was taken the last time Manatee County deputies had contact with the child in December.

"He was healthy. He's seemingly happy in this photograph. He's smiling," said Randy Warren with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The family lived in Myakka City and investigators believe they would travel often promoting a traveling circus.

Investigators found a box of restraints and a K-9 shock collar inside a motel in Indiana where the family was staying.

In 2017, Manatee County deputies responded to a home on Singletary Road in Myakka City.

The boy's grandmother had told deputies she noticed a bruise on the child's face and Eduardo told her he got it from his stepmother after he failed to finish his homework, according to a sheriff's office report.

Eduardo told deputies he was outside playing on a trampoline and tried to do a flip. According to a sheriff's office report, "He stated that he did not tuck his legs in when he did the flip. He stated that when he landed on the trampoline he hit his cheek on his knee."

Deputies observed all children appeared to be well fed and healthy.

"We feel like we did everything we could based on the information we had," said Warren.

All cases with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office were closed and claims were unfounded.

"All of them had the same result, nothing could be substantiated. No sign of neglect or no sign of abuse," added Warren.

"Each time he (Eduardo) denied he was being abuse. There was a reasonable explanation for everything," added Warren.