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Circus promoters accused of holding boy in bathtub with shackles and a shock collar before he died

Indiana investigators say they believe the family previously lived in Florida, and 10News has learned they have ties to Manatee County.

A dad and stepmom face charges after prosecutors claim a 12-year-old boy was restrained with shackles and a dog collar in a Bloomington, Indiana, motel bathroom before he died.

According to CBS affiliate WTTV, the boy, Eduardo Posso, appeared to have been abused and starved before he was taken to the hospital and passed away last week. He was "severely emaciated" and weighed just 50-55 pounds, the local television station reported.

“This is beyond anything that I’ve worked with," Monroe County, Indiana, Sheriff Brad Swain said at a news conference. "I can’t think of, in 30 years, a case like this."

The IndyStar reports the child's father, Luis Posso, 32, and his stepmother, Dayan Median Flores, 25, face neglect charges. WTTV says the couple's other three kids were placed under the care of child protective workers. Those children ranged in age from 2 to 9 years old.

“I’m sure this will be with those children for the rest of their lives,” Sheriff Swain reportedly said.

Detectives say the couple had been staying in a motel room, as part of their job, which was to distribute advertising for a touring circus. Inside the room, investigators found a box with restraints and a K-9 shock collar.

According to the IndyStar, the parents had installed a web-based security system in the motel room and allowed one of the parents to watch the bathroom via a mobile app and a web camera that was attached to a towel bar. The newspaper says a detective claimed the dad admitted to physically abusing the boy, but the couple denied withholding food.

A search of the couple's phones led authorities to find video of the boy tied up in the bathtub while the other kids came and went -- paying no attention to him, WTTV reports. According to the news outlet, the dad even took a selfie in the bathroom while his son was restrained in the background.

According to the IndyStar, investigators believe the family previously lived in Florida. 10News found records and social media information that indicates the couple is from Manatee County, possibly in the Myakka City area. 

We spoke to Manuel Rebecchi, the owner of Cirque Italia. He told us the news took him by surprise.  

“I'm shocked by these events, and terribly distraught that people think Cirque Italia is involved,” Rebecchi said.

Rebecchi said the couple worked for a third-party company and the traveling circus had nothing to do with their employment. He said Cirque Italia is cooperating with the investigation.

10News also reached out to Jose Pages Advertisement and Distribution, the company that hired the couple. They did not respond to our request for comment on the arrests.

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