Documents: Uncle chained up Iowa teenage runaway to keep him home

PEOSTA — The parents and uncle of a 13-year-old Iowa boy and frequent runaway are accused of padlocking a weighted chain around his waist to him to keep him home, according to court documents. Michael and Cynthia Kobusch, both 49, and her brother, Jeffrey Merfeld, 50, who all live in Peosta, are charged with child endangerment causing injury.

Court documents say the boy was reported missing Dec. 30 and that when he was found Jan 11, he had a handwritten account of what he said was abuse by Merfeld. The boy had run away in October and, after he was found Nov. 8, his older brother took him to his uncle’s for care because their parents were away.