A 6-year-old boy was found unconscious with his head in a toilet, deputies said in recently released court documents. Deputies in Osceola County, Florida, blame his parents Larry Rhodes Jr., 22, and Bianca Blaise, 25.
“At the time of this affidavit, it is unknown if [redacted] will survive his injuries,” deputies said in a heavily redacted affidavit in Rhodes’ case.
Authorities said they responded to the Knights Inn in the city of Kissimmee, south of Orlando, on July 5. There was a report of a child drowning, deputies said. The person who called this in described his head as being “in the toilet like [redacted] was drinking water,” authorities wrote.
“Deputy Miranda entered the room and observed Larry Rhodes Jr. (herein after Mr. Rhodes) holding [redacted] in his arms,” the affidavit stated. “Deputy Miranda determined [redacted] did not have a pulse, and he was not breathing.”
The child had sustained a brain bleed and was put on life support, authorities said. He had visible injuries to his face, including swollen eyes and “light blood” in his mouth.
Rhode and Blaise allegedly said there was a physical altercation between siblings in the hotel room on the Fourth of July, but after examining the other children at the scene, authorities did not believe this story.
Deputies said there were eight people in Rhodes and Blaise’s room, including them. Available details in the redacted affidavit appear to suggest the remaining six are children.
Blaise and Rhodes, who is her boyfriend of seven years, “came to Kissimmee with [redacted]” in March, deputies said. In April, they moved into room 510 of the Knights Inn. All eight had been living there. The parents shared one bed, and the others shared the other.
“Bianca said there is ample food and drinks for [redacted] despite there being no kitchen,” deputies said.
Occupants of the hotel room next door said they heard a “thud” from the suspects’ room, which shares a wall with theirs. They could not exactly say what caused it, but the man suggested it was from a child falling.
Blaise allegedly said she would be out at work all day, with Rhodes taking care of the others. They would be asleep by the time she returned, and she would only know of the days’ events if Rhodes told her, she said in the documents.
She allegedly described the children as being, in the words of the affidavit, “generally well behaved,” but they recreate fights from wrestling and UFC. She described an incident in which one of them got a black eye.
“When [redacted] misbehave[s], Bianca tells them to go stand in the corner of the room by the bathroom, while facing the wall for approximately 30-45 minutes,” deputies said. “Bianca denies ever physically disciplining [redacted] but rather puts them in the corner.”
Rhodes, on the other hand, allegedly would sometimes “whoop” them on their bottoms and make them do exercises in the corner.
“Blood spatter was observed on the wall near the area Bianca said [redacted] were made to stand with their noses in the corner as punishment,” deputies said.
Blaise noted that he would become upset over typically minor things, deputies said. This was because he recently ran out of his schizophrenia medication over the last two weeks, the affidavit suggested.
Rhodes asked for his attorney, deputies said.
The couple were arrested July 6 on charges of child neglect with great bodily harm, authorities said. Rhodes is now also charged with aggravated child abuse, records show.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for more information.
[Booking photos via Osceola County Sheriff’s Office]
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