A criminal investigation focusing on the Hartwigs’ treatment of their adopted son began in late March, after the boy was taken to a hospital with a third-degree burn to his foot and several broken bones that doctors determined resulted from abuse and medical neglect.
Initially hospitalized in critical condition, the nine-year-old boy spent more than a month in a Portland hospital before doctors released him to DHS.
Two adopted sisters,now 11 and 12, claim they and the boy were made to sleep outside in the cold with no shelter and no blankets as punishment and the boy was thrown in the creek for lying.
Despite their guilty plea, the Hartwigs are still the legal parents and the natural parents, from whom the children were removed in 2005 because their father had mulutple "brushes with the law," are being denied any visitation.
Scott VenEman and Darci Troyer, the natural parents, say they now regret agreeing to the adoption but were assured it was best for their chidlren, though the Hartwig's may have ben under invetsigation for abuse prior to the adoption.