PEOSTA, Iowa – The parents and uncle of a 13-year-old Iowa boy and frequent runaway are accused of chaining a weight to him to keep him home.
Court records say Michael and Cynthia Kobusch, and her brother, Jeffrey Merfeld, are charged with child endangerment.
The boy told investigators that once when his parents were away, Merfeld padlocked a chain around the boy's waist and attached a weight. The documents provide various assessments of the heft of the chain and weight, but don't describe how much it restricted his mobility.
His parents were away for at least four days and he says they left the chain on for two days after they returned to Peosta, 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.
The records don't list attorneys who can comment for the adults.