Family says boy hidden from them
STRUTHERS – Family members said they had no idea 14-year-old Teddy Foltz was being abused by his mother’s boyfriend because his mother refused access to the boy.
Shawn Tedesco, the boy’s father, and other family members, including sisters of the mother, said the behavior began when Zaryl Bush, 43, began seeing Shain Widdersheim three years ago.
Wednesday, Bush was arraigned in municipal court for the rape and murder of the boy and his bond was set at $1 million. Widdersheim was arrested on charges of complicity and obstruction charges after investigators said she refused to cooperate.
Foltz died early Monday morning after first being taken to the hospital Jan. 21 by Widdersheim. A family member asked police to investigate Jan. 23 because of the suspicious nature of his injuries.
After court Wednesday, Tedesco said he wanted to speak to reporters because he refused to be silent any more. He said Widdersheim had custody of the boy but refused to let him see his son. The last time he saw his son before he died was on his 10th birthday, Tedesco said.
”I never suspected,” Tedesco said. ”She blocked everybody.”
Tedesco said before charges were filed against Widdersheim that she deserved to be charged also because she did not stop what happened to his son.
”The job of the woman is to protect the kids and she didn’t do that,” Tedesco said.
Paul Foltz, Teddy’s grandfather, said they had no idea what was going on.
”Nobody knew a thing,” Paul Foltz said.
One of Widdersheim’s sisters also said they were not able to visit or talk to her either while she lived with Bush.
Sara Foltz, Teddy’s grandmother, tried to speak but was too choked up to do so.
In court, Bush told Visiting Judge Jamie Dunn that he was unemployed and his $182 monthly unemployment benefits had recently expired, so he has no income. Dunn ordered a lawyer be appointed to represent Bush.
Bush showed no emotion except when he was asked if he understood what a preliminary hearing was. He chuckled and said no and Lou DeFabio, who was representing Bush solely for his arraignment, explained it to him. Several workers and others in the Municipal Building, where the court is housed, expressed anger and shock, especially anger towards Bush.
Tedesco said the last time he saw his son was his 10th birthday party until just before he died, in the hospital. He said when he found out his son was in the hospital he was not allowed to see him for awhile because Widdersheim told hospital staff she forbade it.
”The last time I saw him he was on life support,” Tedesco said. ”Nobody should have to see anything like that. It shouldn’t have happened.”