Investigators on Friday said the Ellsworth couple charged Thursday with abusing their brother and brother-in-law who suffers from mental health illnesses shot the 24-year-old with BB guns so close it embedded in his skin.
Prosecutors also said the man’s sister, Heather K. Wymer, 30, and her husband, Michael K. Wymer, 35, refused to feed him at times and struck him other times.
The abuse prompted Scott McCrory, Heather Wymer’s brother, to run away from home July 24, causing a wide search and tearful cries for help from Heather Wymer.
McCrory lived with the Wymers and entrusted them to cash his social security checks, investigators said.
“It appears he was deprived of food, deprived of care,” said assistant Mahoning County prosecutor Becky Doherty. “He was shot with a BB gun and he actually still has some of the BBs embedded under his skin.”
The couple was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury Thursday on charges of fourth-degree felony assault, fourth-degree felony failing to provide for a functionally impaired person and two counts of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence.
McCrory was eventually found in Niles two days after he fled. Sheriff Jerry Greene said when McCrory was taken to the hospital, he had a black eye and several BB wounds. McCrory told investigators his sister had hit him and his brother-in-law shot him.
“If he ate food in the house that he wasn’t supposed to, or if he did something wrong, he explained that that’s how they would dish out punishment,” Greene said.
McCrory is now living with his father in Trumbull County, authorities said.
In an interview with WKBN at the time, Heather Wymer said she checked a vacant house he was known to frequent when he went missing.
“I love you and I want you to come home and I hope you’re safe,” she said during the interview while addressing McCrory. “And I miss you.”
McCrory’s mother, Karen Thom, said at the time McCrory would often get upset and leave their home for a few hours. They called Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies after he didn’t return for a full day.
Officers on ATV’s and a helicopter searched the areas near McCrory’s home.
“It’s just shocking when you find out that the reason that person took off is because they were being abused at home,” Green said.
Police have not yet arrested the couple.