Indiana Couple Busted Two Years After Cops Rescue Emaciated 12-Year-Old

Image: Tabitha Rupert was arrested on two counts of neglect of a dependent
Tabitha RupertJasper County Police

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Corky Siemaszko

An Indiana couple was arrested Tuesday — two years after police removed their "extremely emaciated" 12-year-old from their home.

Tabitha RupertJasper County Police

The child weighed just 23 pounds at the time and was disabled, said Sheriff Terry Risner of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

"This was their child," Risner told NBC News. "We're staying gender neutral for the sake of the victim. This is a small community."

Risner did not go into the whereabouts of the child but said the victim "is thriving and is living in much better circumstances."

Jay Rupert, 50, and his wife Tabitha, 41, were each charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent, Risner said.

The state Department of Children and Family Services removed the child in June 2014 from the couple's residence in Rensselaer, Indiana.

Jay RupertJasper County Police

But the parents weren't arrested until after the Jasper County prosecutor's office uncovered "additional information."

Risner did not go into details. But in a statement, the sheriff said the child "was diagnosed from birth with a non-curable brain disorder which required constant care."

"It was also discovered by detectives that the child had received no formal schooling either by enrollment or home school."

Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis found "physical ailments associated with improper care," the statement says.