Sometimes people surprise us with the good they do in this world, but the opposite is true, too. There are people out there whose depravity plummets to depths we can hardly register: People who remind us there are truly forces of evil at work.
It’s difficult to read stories like this one, but it’s necessary. We need to know what’s going on in our world, and in the lives of the people around us, so that we can recognize signs of abuse and step in to be someone’s hero.
In 2014, a boy named Jordan was just 5 years old when he nearly died. He wasn’t fighting some incurable disease or in a horrible freak accident, he was desperately trying to survive the cruel treatment his parents doled out to him in their home in Spring, Texas.
He was a child from one of his father’s other relationships, and had seven step-siblings. His father, Brad Bleimeyer, did unspeakably cruel things to him. It started slowly, but soon progressed to beating the boy, verbally breaking him down, starving him and even tazing him.
Both Brad and his wife, Tammi, started to lock Jordan in a closet under the stairs, very much like Harry Potter was — but Jordan was forced into a smaller cupboard inside the closet, where there were bare wires and nails sticking out. When he tried to escape, his parents put a lock on the door.
Cody and Allison Frank, two of Tammi’s older children, knew their parents’ treatment of Jordan was abhorrent. Just 16 at the time, Cody tried to tell people about Jordan, but no one helped.
“The police had been to our house multiple times,” said Cody, according to The Sun. “All the police officers told me there was nothing they could do about it.”
“The teachers were unsure what to do — nobody could help me at that point.”
“I remember police officers were actually at our front door and I asked them to come in and see what was happening and they said they couldn’t because I was underage and I didn’t own the house. They were literally at our door and I was asking for help and they couldn’t do anything.”
But despite the lack of help, Cody (who’s now studying criminal justice) kept pushing. He and his sister, Allison, challenged their parents but received verbal and physical punishment and threats for trying to help Jordan.
One day in March 2014, Cody had had enough. He broke into Jordan’s prison cell and was shocked at what he found.
“The day I opened up that closet, Jordan was in the worst shape I had ever seen him in,” he recalled. “I had been in a huge fight with Brad so I was already in trouble and both adults were outside of the house so I just saw an opportunity and I opened up the closet to let Jordan out.”
“But what I found was truly shocking — he was in his diaper, he didn’t have any clothes on. His face was all caved in, bruises all over, marks on him. His mouth was foaming. I have never in my life seen anything as bad as that.”
“I kind of paused for a second and then I just freaked out. If we hadn’t got him out that day I don’t think he would have survived.”
“I picked Jordan up and gave him to my sister Allison so she could care for him and comfort him and I went outside and just called my mom and Brad out on it. They both flipped out that I had opened the closet door — they said I had no business going in there, that it wasn’t anything to do with me.”
“At that point things escalated between me and Brad and we started shoving each other and I was just trying to draw as much attention as I could. I knew at this point there was no turning back. My mom had confiscated my phone but I had a prepaid phone so I called the police but in the meantime my mom was packing all the kids up and getting everyone out.”
“I remember him falling and I picked him up and him just being in my arms was terrible,” Allison, who had been 14 at the time, added. “It was like I wasn’t holding anything — he was so light — it wasn’t like holding a kid at all.”
“He was so, so white and his cheeks were sunken and he smelled terrible — it was just awful. I hadn’t seen him for about a week before this and he was scared, he didn’t know what was happening.”
This December, Tammi Bleimeyer was sentenced to serve 28 years in jail, and both Cody and Allison testified against her, which is how these all details have come to light these four years later.
Brad Bleimeyer was sentenced to 15, according to the Independent. All the children were taken from their parents in 2014 and put into foster care, but they carry this horrible past with them.
There is much darkness in this story, but if it weren’t for Cody and Allison, it would be much darker. They were willing to do what was right, even when other adults weren’t, and even when it meant risking their safety.
Because of their actions, Jordan is now 9 and living with his biological mother. He’s made what some are referring to as a “miraculous recovery” and is now able to enjoy as normal a childhood as he can, where he is fed, loved and cared for.
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