Kimberly Tutko of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the 38-year-old mother of an eight-year-old mentally challenged son, told police in Harrisburg on August 1 that she hadn’t realized her son had even died until she smelled the strong odor of the boy’s decomposition. The boy lived on the third floor of the home Tutko shared with her other children and husband, Jarrod Tutko, also 38 years old, according to ABC News.
The mom told police that her husband was the boy’s primary caretaker and that she devoted most of her time to caring for another of her disabled children. When Harrisburg police were called to the Tutko residence on Friday and found the boy’s decomposing body, the mom told police that her husband knew the boy had died but didn’t say anything.
Police took the father into custody and charged him yesterday with child endangerment, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse. The police report states that the dad finally informed Kimberly that their son, Jarrod Tutko Jr., had died “when the odor of decomposition became too strong.”
An autopsy is scheduled for the boy next week. As of this time, police don’t have a clear cause of death for young Jarrod. The Tutkos had five other children living with them who are all now in protective custody.
According to Pennlive, the mom said she understands that people will find it hard to believe that she didn’t know her son had died. But, according to the mom, her son who was “severely mentally disabled and often difficult to control,” stayed on the third floor of her home and was looked after primarily by the father. Tutko said that her son “would rip up the flooring and carpeting of his bedroom, smear his feces on the floor and walls, and refuse to wear a diaper.” Meanwhile, the mom said she devoted most of her time to another child who needed around the clock care.
“My daughter relies on me,” Kimberly Tutko said.
“I take care of her and my husband takes care of Jarrod Jr.”
Several of the Tutko’s five other children, ages 3, 12, 10, 6 and 3, also have severe medical considerations. One child is deaf. The daughter that the mother cares for around the clock is autistic, in a vegetative state, “has a feeding tube, is blind, has a collapsed lung and is confined to a hospital bed on the second floor of the home.”
The mom said she noticed “a strange odor coming from the third floor of her Green Street home Friday night.” After noticing the smell, her husband went upstairs and brought their son’s body downstairs. After seeing the condition of her son’s body, the mom told police that she realized then her son must have been dead for days,
Reportedly, the husband knew that Jarrod Jr. passed away last Tuesday on the third floor of the couple’s home. When the wife asked her husband why he never said anything, “He said he was too afraid to say anything because of other kids in the house.”