Southern Comfort, Vermouth, Seized from Torture Home

Public encouraged to donate to help injured boy

A Tracy couple and a woman with ties to the Bay Area appeared briefly in a San Joaquin County courtroom Monday, where they had been scheduled to be arraigned on charges that they tortured a 16-year-old boy named Kyle for more than a year inside their Tracy home.

Investigators said Michael and Kelly Schumacher and Caren Ramirez kept the boy chained in a fireplace, choked him with a belt and forced him to drink and take drugs.

Police released an evidence list Monday showing the items that they seized from the home.

The list included a butterfly knife, pocket knife, knives from the kitchen, Gallo vermouth, Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels whiskey, chains attached to a sports punching bag that had been hanging in the garage, carpet from around the fireplace, the fireplace grate and bricks from around the fireplace.

Details of the alleged abuse appeared in a search warrant affidavit filed by a Tracy police detective who questioned the teen after he escaped from the with a chain around his leg. He sought help from a local gym.

Detective Nate Cogburn said the boy reported being seriously burned when someone purposely lit a fire in the fireplace while he was chained there.

Cogburn said the boy also described being choked with a belt until he lost consciousness.

A Tracy couple and the teen's one-time guardian are charged with his torture and kidnapping.

Anyone wishing to donate can go to http://sacchildadv.org/ or mail checks to SCA FBO Tracy Youth Fund 8745 Folsom Blvd., Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95826. People who wish to donate are also asked to call 916-364-5686.

Woman Comes to Court for First Time

43-year-old Ramirez, who lawyers said refers to herself as Carmen, looked down the entire time as a judge formally charged her with 9 counts including kidnapping and torture on Monday.

According to newly released court documents, all three have admitted to abusing the boy.

"His captors forced him to ingest unknown pills, consume alchoholic beverages, and smoke marijuana in order to continuously keep him in a lethargic state," according to the documents.

And on one occassion the boy, "...was asleep in (and chained to) the fireplace when one of the
suspects purposefully lighted it, resulting in a significant burn injury on his left arm," the documents read.

"He'd go three days without eating," said Kyle's 19-year-old brother Austin, who said he too was abused by Ramirez years ago. He said he can not believe his brother survived the ordeal. He said he wants those responsible to pay.

"They don't need to see the light of day," Austin said. "I don't want them out and neither does (my brother)."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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