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‘There’s Really No Words for This Type of Abuse’: Indiana Circus Promoter Pleads Guilty to Beating and Starving 12-Year-Old Son to Death

Luis Eduardo Posso via Monroe County Jail

Luis Eduardo Posso via Monroe County Jail

A 35-year-old man in Indiana last week admitted to viciously abusing his 12-year-old son before starving the child to death. Luis Eduardo Posso, Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to one count of murder for killing Eduardo Posso in 2019, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Posso, a transient man, had initially been charged with multiple other felonies, including one count each of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, neglect of a dependent involving cruel confinement, criminal confinement causing bodily injury, and battery resulting in bodily injury of a person under the age of 14. Prosecutors dropped those charges, as well as a petition seeking a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, in exchange for Posso pleading guilty to murder.

According to a report from The Herald-Times, Posso carried his unconscious son into the emergency room at IU Health Bloomington Hospital at approximately 2:52 a.m. on May 24, 2019. 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.

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.

According to the Kokomo Tribune, cell phone footage from 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 an electric shock collar designed for dogs.

Eduardo’s stepmother, 28-year-old Dayana Median-Flores, last year pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the boy’s horrific death. Monroe Circuit Court Judge Christine Talley Hasemen later sentenced Median-Flores to spend 65 years in a state prison, the maximum sentence for murder in Indiana.

Dayana Median-Flores

Dayana Median-Flores

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case reportedly stated the Median-Flores told investigators that Posso was primarily responsible for the beatings Eduardo endured. She reportedly claimed that Posso would often use a belt, a shoe, or his bare hands to beat Eduardo.

Median Flores reportedly said she and Posso only made the decision to bring Eduardo to the emergency room after they found him “cold to the touch” and not breathing.

Prior to Eduardo’s death, the couple was also taking care of three other children, ages two, five, and nine. Police said none of the three other children showed any signs of being abused or starved.

Inside of the hotel room where the family had been staying, investigators recovered the shock collar, chains, padlocks, and shackles. Police said the couple left the boy chained in the in the bathroom without food for weeks.

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 had 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.”

The Monroe County Prosecutors Office and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to messages from Law&Crime seeking additional details in the case.

Read the probable cause affidavit and the Posso’s plea agreement below.

[image 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.