COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A naked 13-year-old boy was found by Colorado Springs police Thursday in a house that was immediately condemned as unsafe for living.
The parents were not at home while police were there. 7NEWS learned the father of the boy is a former Colorado Springs City Councilman.
"The boy stated he is an only child, home-schooled, and does not remember ever being outside the house. Neighbors confirmed they have not seen the boy outside in several years," police said.
The report indicated the home was "extremely unsanitary with live and dead rodents and human feces about."
Police were responding to a welfare call in the 6100 block of Corinth Street when they found the child, according to the Colorado Springs Police Blotter.
The boy was taken to a local hospital until the Dept. of Human Services took custody of him. Police said the boy was autistic.
Charles E. Wingate and his wife, Sharon Starkey, were served a summons on suspicion of misdemeanor child neglect.
Wingate resigned from the Colorado Springs City Council in 2003 while facing a number of felony charges. He pleaded guilty to embezzlement of public funds in a plea bargain. In return, other charges filed against him were dropped.
7NEWS met with Wingate at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday. He said his son is not autistic and disputed the context of how police interpreted his son's comment about never being outside.
"I think he answered that statement accurately. He is not someone who likes to go outside a great deal. It has been cold for the last couple of weeks, to my memory, so he probably hasn't been outside to play. Has he been outside? Of course. He's been outside to get in my car and transport places with me and mom, so yes, he's been outside, but in terms of going outside and playing or doing any kind of recreational activities outside, yeah, that's probably an accurate statement," said Wingate.
A neighbor told 7NEWS that she was surprised to learn the family still lived at the home because she hadn't seen them in about three years.
7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger asked Wingate if police accurately described the condition of the inside of his home.
"I don't think all of it's accurate. There are some rodents in the house; I don't know where they came from. There may be some dead rodents. Feces all over the house? I don't believe that's an accurate statement.
"You've been in the house recently," asked Zelinger. "Today?"
"Yeah, I was there when I came home and didn't see my son there," said Wingate.
The teen is now in child protective custody.
Police spokeswoman Barbara Miller told the Gazette police have been receiving more welfare check calls after three women who had been missing for years were found alive at a home in Cleveland earlier this month.
Gazette story: http://ch7ne.ws/12Fyl7n