The Orlando Police Department investigation uncovered much worse allegations and signs of abuse.
It was just another day at work for waitress Flavaine Carvalho on New Years Day at the Mrs. Potato Restaurant on South Kirkman Road where she works.
Until she noticed something not quite right. Father, Timothy Wilson II, 34, wasn't allowing his son to order any food. The young lad also had bruises covering his arms and on his face. Carvalho said she tried to ask the boy if something was wrong, but his stepfather Wilson II told her that things were fine and that the boy was going to eat dinner at home after they left.
Carvalho didn't want to ignore the signs or cause the boy any more abuse so she secretly wrote a note that said "do you need help?" and stood behind the boy’s parents where they couldn’t see. The boy eventually signaled yes and Carvalho called the police. Wilson was arrested on one count of third-degree child abuse.
In a video posted by the Orlando Police Department, Carvalho shared her experience. She said that the family came in like a "regular family."
The child showed signs of neglect and abuse, including a scratch. "I could see that he was super quiet and sad," she explained. When the boy nodded yes, he needed help, Carvalho called 911.
Timothy Wilson II was arrested that day and charged with one count of third-degree child abuse.
The Orlando Police Department investigation uncovered much worse allegations and signs of abuse. This led to Wilson being arrested again on January 6 and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse.
The boy's mother, 31-year-old Kristen Swann, was also arrested on Jan. 6 and faces two counts of child neglect for failing to report the abuse.
"By saying something when she saw something, Ms. Carvalho displayed courage and care for a child she had never even met before, and we’re proud someone like Ms. Carvalho lives and works in our community," the Orlando Police Department said in a statement.
The child told police that the couple denied him food on a regular basis and would sometimes punish him for failing to complete physical exercises. He described being handcuffed and tied to a large dolly, being hung upside down and struck with a wooden broom, according to police.
"To be honest what this child had gone through was torture," Detective Erin Lawler said at the news conference. "There was no justification for it in any realm of the world. I'm a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."
Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon said he believes Carvalho's actions saved the boy's life.
"We probably would've been talking about a potential homicide investigation if she had not intervened when she did," Rolon said.
A GoFundMe set up to reward Flaviane Carvalho has already passed $25,000.
Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.