MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Charges have been upgraded for the parents of a former Myakka City boy who are accused of abusing and killing their 12-year-old son.
- Vigil held tonight for former Myakka City abuse victim
- Eduardo Posso, 12, died after being starved, chained to tub
- Boy's father, stepmother face murder charges
Eduardo Posso died last week in an Indiana hospital after his parents allegedly starved him and kept him in chains.
Posso's father Luis Posso and stepmother Dayan Flores face murder charges in his death.
Investigators said the 12-year-old boy was starved and shackled in a bathtub.
Eduardo and his three younger siblings previously lived in Myakka City with Posso and Flores.
The children were pulled out of school in December, 2018 and were traveling with their parents as they worked to promote multiple businesses, including Manatee County-based Cirque Italia.
Before the family began traveling, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office was alerted five times between March 2017 and December 2018 about injuries on Eduardo. These reports were made by both teachers and Eduardo's biological mother.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said five total investigations were completed with four different supervisors from the agency. Each time, they found no signs of abuse in the home.
When Eduardo died on May 23, officials say he was "severely emaciated," weighing 50 to 55 pounds with 0 percent body fat.
A vigil was held Sunday evening at the Myakka Family Worship Center. There was a feeling of guilt that loomed over the vigil for Eduardo -- not guilt for not doing anything, but instead guilt for not getting right people to hear what they had to say.
"We reported it. We fought for it. We knew it was happening, and yet nobody listened, and we failed Eduardo," said Pastor Lynn Howell.
The 12-year old played soccer at the church before his family left town in December. His teachers and neighbors remembered him as a loving child.
"He represents a destiny that was stolen. He represents a life that was taken needlessly. He represents someone who could've been a chef, like he liked to cook. He could've been a star soccer player, but yet because choices of others, whatever they were, his destiny, his life was robbed of him," Howell said.