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‘Incomprehensible, Heinous, and Cruel’: Indiana Circus Promoter Who Tortured and Starved 12-Year-Old Son to Death Gets Maximum Sentence

Luis Eduardo Posso via Monroe County Jail

Luis Eduardo Posso. (Image via the Monroe County Jail.)

A 35-year-old man in Indiana will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for heinously torturing his 12-year-old son for months before ultimately starving the child to death. Monroe Circuit Judge Christine Talley Haseman on Thursday handed down the maximum 65-year sentence to Luis Eduardo Posso, Jr. in the horrific 2019 death of young Eduardo Posso, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a report from The Herald-Times, Judge Haseman held up two photographs of Eduardo during the sentencing proceeding, one showing the boy happy and healthy, and another, taken a few years later, that showed him emaciated and chained in a motel bathroom. She reportedly made Posso look at the photos, saying the boy “went from this, to this” on his father’s watch.

Judge Haseman also reportedly detailed the evidence compiled in the case showing that in addition to starving Eduardo, Posso also engaged in a sustained campaign of physical abuse.

“Your abuse and torture of Eduardo didn’t stop with withholding food and hydration,” she reportedly told Posso, saying his treatment of Eduardo was “calibrated to induce pain and suffering,” which was “incomprehensible, heinous, and cruel.”

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Posso at approximately 2:52 a.m. on May 24, 2019 carried his unresponsive son into the emergency room at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. The boy was pronounced dead a short while later, at approximately 3:05 a.m.

The medical staff at the hospital reportedly told investigators that Eduardo “was found to be severely emaciated by the hospital staff, and had multiple bruises, lacerations and ulcers all over his body in various stages of healing.” The child weighed only 50 pounds at the time of his death, about the weight of an average 6-year-old boy — half his age.

The emergency room physician who treated Eduardo and later pronounced him dead reportedly told investigators that the boy “reminded him of pictures he had seen of people held in Nazi concentration camps,” the Herald-Times reported.

An autopsy determined that the child had been severely beaten and not fed over a long period of time. Coroner Joni Shields reportedly ruled that the cause of death was starvation.

Investigators looking into the circumstances of Eduardo’s death soon discovered a slew of evidence illustrating the horrific nature of the boy’s final days, beginning with an April 16, 2019 text message from Posso to his wife, 28-year-old Dayana Median-Flores. Median-Flores last year pleaded guilty to one count of murder and was also sentenced to 65 years in prison.

“Upon examining Luis’ cellular phone a message was discovered written in Spanish. The message was translated to English, and was found t0 say, ‘Eduardo was almost out of the chains,'” a detective wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “I was then informed that during a search of the hotel room, chains, cordage, restraint cuffs, an electric shock dog collar, and padlocks were discovered underneath the box springs of one of the two beds in the room. A wireless surveillance camera was also discovered in the hotel room with the other items mentioned.”

Dayana Median-Flores

Dayana Median-Flores.  (Image via mugshot.)

Investigators said footage from the camera dated May 19, 2019 showed Eduardo inside of a motel room bathroom. He was reportedly chained to a towel rack bar and his hands and feet were tied. He was also wearing the electric shock collar designed for dogs.

Posso and Median-Flores both had apps on their phones for the dog collar that let them shock Eduardo when they weren’t home, investigators said.

Police said that Eduardo’s 9-year-old sister told investigators that Posso and Median-Flores also forced her to wear the dog collar and threatened to shock her if she didn’t participate in abusing Eduardo.

The couple reportedly worked for Jose Pages Advertisement and Distribution and were contracted to advertise for Cirque Italia’s Big Top Gold Water Circus, which held several shows at Bloomington College Mall in June 2019.

At the time, several detectives said it was the worst case they had ever worked on.

“There are no words,” Detective Lt. Jennifer Allen of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reportedly told Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR in 2019. “Everybody involved with this case has been very deeply affected and will be affected until the end of our career, let alone the end of our lives. I mean, there’s really no words for this type of abuse.”

“I cannot think of, in 30 years, a case like this,” Sheriff Brad Swain reportedly told the station. “It’s beyond anything I’ve worked.”

[images via Monroe County Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.