Invisible Children

Boy by Melvin Bledsoe and Joy Anderson

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

A 6-year-old boy was starved, imprisoned, and tortured by his father, Melvin W. Bledsoe, and his stepmother Joy Tamika Anderson. The boy’s three stepsiblings were not reported to be abused. The boy was homeschooled.

Bledsoe and Anderson were half-siblings. In 2012, Bledsoe and the boy were living with Anderson, her husband, and her three children. Bledsoe slapped the boy, then nine months old, and the boy was briefly removed by child services. Bledsoe pleaded guilty to felony injury of a child after Anderson testified against him. A neighbor witnessed the boy being abused in 2015 and alerted child services, but they did not find enough evidence to remove the boy. By 2017, Bledsoe and Anderson were living together as a couple and abusing the boy together. They tied him face-down to a bed with ropes. Bledsoe threw him against a wall and beat him with a belt; Anderson beat him with a coat hanger and stomped on his belly, causing his pancreas to rupture in half. When he was rescued, the boy “had scars and scabs all over his body…several fresh wounds, dried blood on his body, ulcers on his legs and a cauliflower ear.” He had recently eaten a pillow due to hunger.

The abuse came to light in October 2017 after Bledsoe and Anderson brought the boy to the hospital because his “lips were turning blue and his stomach was bloating” due to the ruptured pancreas. Bledsoe and Anderson were charged with felony injury to a child.

Date: October 8, 2017
Post Falls, Idaho


Documents: Date:
Post Falls couple accused of abusing, starving 6-year-old son 11-02-2017
Couple charged with child abuse 11-02-2017
Post Falls couple charged with child abuse after 6-year-old taken to hospital with severe injuries, including a split pancreas 11-02-2017
Post Falls police say couple abused son and left him so hungry he ate his pillow 11-02-2017
Post Falls couple accused of felony child abuse also face charges of incest 01-19-2018