On the third floor of the Harrisburg, Pa., home, a bedroom now sits empty, with pieces of once-blue carpet stained brown, with feces smeared on the floor and the walls.
It’s where 9-year-old Jarrod Tutko Jr. lived and where he died, according to PennLive.com. But it was four days until anyone other than his father, 38-year-old Jarrod Nicholas Tutko, knew he was gone. That’s because the father allegedly kept quiet — until last weekend when the boy’s mother, Kimberly Tutko, smelled her son’s decomposing body.
Jarrod Tutko has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse. A cause of death has not been determined. The mother talked to PennLive.com.
“I said to him ‘Why didn’t you say anything?'” Kimberly Tutko told the paper. “He said he was too afraid to say anything because of other kids in the house.”
Jarrod Jr. was one of six kids, all but one developmentally or physically challenged. Kimberly Tutko said she didn’t know he had died. She hadn’t even seen him since 2010.
But how could a mother living in the same house as her son not see him for four years?
Kimberly Tutko told the paper she was the primary caretaker of her profoundly ill daughter, who was diagnosed with autism and was blind and vegetative. Her husband, she said, looked after Jarrod Jr., who was also diagnosed with autism as well as failure to thrive and a genetic defect called Fragile X Syndrome. She said she hadn’t visited the boy, who flung feces and refused to wear his diaper, because she wanted to avoid carrying any bacterial contamination back to their daughter.
“My daughter relies on me,” Kimberly Tutko told PennLive.com. “I take care of her and my husband takes care of Jarrod Jr.”
According to PennLive.com:
The oldest, Deanna, 13, is deaf; Aaron, 12, has developmental issues; Arianna, 10, is profoundly handicapped and in a vegetative state. She has severe brain damage and is confined to a hospital bed. Jarrod Jr., the son who was found dead, had Fragile X, a genetic disorder that left him with intellectual and emotional disabilities. Braelyn, 6, is autistic; and Makayla, 3, by all accounts, a normal child.
Outside the home, neighbors told the newspaper, the mother was seldom seen. The father had once slapped his older son, Aaron — a boy so skinny his ribs showed through his chest. The boy slept downstairs on the living room couch. Two younger children shared the master bedroom with their parents, and the vegetative daughter was confined to a hospital-type bed in her own space across the hall. Jarrod Jr. was isolated on the third floor.
It’s not clear why so many of their children were challenged. It’s not clear how Jarrod Jr. died. His autopsy is set for Tuesday.
But for now, the children have been placed in protective custody.
Kimberly Tutko has not been charged with a crime.
“I had nothing to do with it,” Kimberly Totku told PennLive.com. “I don’t understand why [Jarrod Tutko] hid it from me. They’re saying you didn’t ask about your son? I ask every single day every single night. ‘Hey did you feed Junior? How’s Junior? Oh he’s fine and yes I fed him.'”
Jarrod Tutko is being held at Dauphin County Prison. His bail is set at $500,000.