With her head bowed, occasionally grimacing, 43-year-old Caren Ramirez made her first appearance in a Stockton courtroom, to hear the long list of felony charges against her.
Co-defendants Michael Schumacher and Kelly Lau sat with Ramirez for their continued arraignment on charges they held a 16-year-old boy captive in their Tracy home.
The boy lived in the home for 15 months, and according to prosecutors was starved, burned, cut and chained to a fireplace grate and in the garage. Prosecutors also say the boy was given alcohol, pills and marijuana to keep him in a lethargic state.
According to court documents, evidence to support those charges was recovered, including knives, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a chain attached to a punching bag.
The victim's 19-year-old old brother Austin says he has visited the boy, since his escape. Austin says he plans to be in court someday to see the defendants in person.
The victim's brother was not in court Monday, but he will get another chance on January 5th when all three defendants are scheduled to be back in court for further arraignment.
If you'd like to help the victim in this case -- there are a couple of different places accepting donations:
Sacramento Child Advocates has set up a bank account for Kyle R. The group accepts only cash donations to be used for his care. Sacramento Child Advocates Inc. is the advocate and voice for abused children in the foster care
system. To donate by e-mail, visit www.sacchildadv.org, click on the Tracy Youth fund on the left side of the page. Checks may be sent to SCA FBO Tracy Youth Fund, 8745 Folsom Blvd. Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95826.
Donations are also being accepted at the In-Shape City Sports Club, where the boy first went for help. The club is at 101 S. Tracy Blvd., Tracy, CA 95376.