4-year-old boy with autism in critical condition at Battle Creek hospital due to neglect

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Melissa Schug received a phone call Wednesday evening that left her in tears and driving to Kalamazoo. Her daughter Megan called and said her 4-year-old son Maloyd was in the hospital. Then she hung up. But Melissa called back.

“I kept blowing up the phone,” said Melissa covered in tears. “I was worried. ‘How is he? How is he?’ and ‘Why didn’t you go to Kalamazoo?’ ‘cause she told me they wouldn’t let her go to Kalamazoo.”

Melissa knew then that something was wrong, she said. A mother is typically allowed to ride in the ambulance with her child when transported from one hospital to another. In this case, Maloyd was going from Bronson Battle Creek to Bronson in Kalamazoo. However, according to local police, Megan was held back.

“The medical staff was able to alert the police department that something was significantly, significantly wrong with the child,” said Detective Sergeant Troy Gilleylen with the Battle Creek Police Department. “Through the investigation, officers decided to talk to the mother.”

Megan was later arrested for child neglect, police said. The next day she was arraigned on the same charges. The prosecution revealed in court that she confessed to detectives that she locked the child, who is autistic, in a closet and failed to give him medical treatment.

“The child has extreme injuries,” said Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert. “He’s got injuries to his back. He’s got injuries to his head. He’s got injuries to his feet.”

During the arraignment, Megan’s sister Morgan bolted out the door in tears. She said she couldn’t believe what was talked about in court.

“I asked my sister can I take my nephew,” said Morgan recalling a conversation she had with Megan a while ago. “She told me ‘no.’”

Morgan said she was worried about Maloyd, who everyone called ‘Sumo.’ She once saw Megan’s boyfriend — identified in court as Issac Miller but called 'Mike' — hit the 4-year-old with a switch. The grandmother had an inkling too that something wasn’t right.

“I’ve asked her because of the way he said he had to be strict because he was a boy,” said Melissa crying during an interview after the arraignment. “I said ‘Megan he’s not putting his hands on my grandson?’ And she promised me.”

Melissa broke down in tears, taking deep breaths and holding her chest during the interview. She said she simply couldn’t believe what happened in that house on East Emmett Street.

“He is such a sweetie,” said Melissa shaking her head in disbelief.  “He is a sweetie. He loves his Nana. He loves his aunties and he’s a good kid.”

And he ate well too, she said. He didn’t like peas but loved spinach. She’d often mixed it with scrambled eggs and he loved it. That's how she knew eating wasn’t the issue, she said. But, she hasn’t seen him yet. He’s currently in critical condition at the hospital.

Police said the other children in the home are staying with “more responsible family” and they are seeking an arrest warrant for Miller.

“He was fighting for his life, my little sumo,” Melissa said in tears.

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