A 50-year-old community college professor has been detained by Michigan authorities for child abuse and involuntary manslaughters after his teen son with autism drowned in a frigid pool.
Timothy Alan Koets was charged on Friday, blamed for leaving 16-year-old Samuel Koets unsupervised on last March 28, with his hands partially bound. The teen, who had critical autism, was discovered dead, face down in the icy water, sparking an inquiry into the drowning.
Koets, an associate professor at Grand Rapids Community College, was detained at the school on Thursday. His son was non-verbal and had the functioning level of a 13- to 17-month-old.
Detectives allegedly discovered “deplorable” circumstances in the teen’s room, which was found in the basement of the family’s home in Georgetown Township. Reports show that police discovered fecal matter throughout the basement, including on the boy’s mattress, which lacked sheets.
Koets was charged with 3 counts of child abuse and 1 count of involuntary manslaughter. It was not clear that on Monday how he pleaded to those charges.
The manslaughter charge claims that Koets abandons his son alone in the backyard on March 28 and went to work. An hour later, the boy was found in the pool.
One of the child abuse counts insists Samuel’s bedroom was unsafe and accuses Koets of improperly binding the child’s hands and leaving the child unattended. He is also charged with child abuse done in the presence of another child.
It is claimed that Koets messaged his daughter, ordering her to check on “freak.” The daughter supposedly sent him photos of Samuel in the pool, water up to his chest, and asked the girl to pull him out by his hand. He messaged her 2 more times but received no reply from his daughter.
Police claim he made no try to tell the authorities of the potentially dangerous situation unfolding in his backyard.
The pool had no shielding fencing surrounding it. Bond of Koets is set at $50,000 for his release.