An investigation revealed the boy was kept away from his family in a hotel room used for storage, was regularly deprived of food and drink, and was subjected to military-style exercises and other abuses, according to the release. Officers recovered multiple items used as weapons against the child, the release added.
Carvalho stood behind the boy’s parents and held up a note asking the boy if he was OK. When the child nodded no, she wrote a second note that asked, “Do you need help,” she explained at a news conference.
After police arrived and questioned the child, Wilson was arrested at the restaurant, and the boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, was taken into custody days later, Orlando investigators said.
Swann is facing multiple felony abuse charges, including neglect of a child, aggravated abuse and failure to report child abuse, records from the Orange County Clerk’s Office show. She has pleaded not guilty. CNN is reaching out to Swann’s attorney for comment.
Wilson will be sentenced on August 19, 2022. Leslie Sweet, an attorney for Wilson, said that he “maintains his innocence” in the case.
What police found after the parents’ arrests
When Swann and Wilson were arrested, another 4-year-old child was removed from the home and was found to not have suffered any abuse, according to Orlando Police Detective Erin Lawler at the time of the arrests. Lawler said the 11-year-old boy is Swann’s child and the 4-year-old is Swann’s and Wilson’s child.
After Carvalho called 911, the boy was taken to a hospital where he was found to be 20 pounds underweight for his age, according to Lawler, who added that the boy also had bruises in various stages of healing across his entire body.
Investigators later found that the boy had been “tortured” and “maliciously punished,” the attorney’s office release said. Prosecutors said the boy had been hung upside down from a door by his neck and feet and on one occasion handcuffed to a dolly cart.
“What this child had gone through, it was torture,” Lawler said. “I’m a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through … It shocks your soul.”
“If Ms. Carvalho would not have said something when she saw it, that little boy would probably not be with us much longer,” she added.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.