Hero cop Jody Thompson has become the official guardian of youngster John and his baby sister after rescuing him from horrendous conditions two years ago.
Thompson who had responded to a physical child abuse allegation in 2015, after having previous experience investigating such cases, but said he was horrified to discover “the worst thing I’ve ever seen”.
Arriving at the scene, he saw a severely underweight eight-year-old boy who had his wrists tied together with belts, bruises covering his back and a huge lump on his head.
He also found that the tortured tot, who weighed just 61lbs, had been submerged in bin full of freezing water.
“When I’d seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied – just soaking wet and confused – I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me,” the hero cop told CBS News.
“He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” he added.
John was admitted to an intensive care unit, where officer Thompson sat with him throughout the night until the next day, the police officer said he immediately felt a connection with the little boy and knew he would become a part of his life.
It was later that he registered to become a certified foster parent with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) and brought John home to meet the rest of the family just a few days later.
Thompson didn’t tell his wife, Jeannie, and children, Ryan and Charley – who were aged 15 and 8 at the time – that he was bringing John back.
He was welcomed into the family on April 30, 2015 – and around the same time found out they were expecting their third biological child.
Another surprise came for the Thompsons when the DHS contacted them seven months later to ask if they wanted to foster John’s sister Paizley who was born while in jail.
The officer said: “We literally picked her up in the hospital the next day when she was a day old and brought her straight home.
“Never in my life did I dream of having a large family, but God had different plans and so here we are. And I’m loving it all.”
After the boy’s parents, who are behind bars but awaiting trial, relinquished their parental rights, he was officially adopted in August.
Later on their parental rights to Paizley were also relinquished and she was also adopted.
Thompson has said “That kid’s very resilient. He bounced back from this.”
THompson has been honoured with a certificate of commendation from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations.
Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen said in a statement: “Jody’s actions as well has his families are second to none. The example of love and compassion he has shown to this young man and his sister is an example everyone should follow.”
“It’s men like you that make me proud of our law enforcement brothers and sisters. You are very deserving of this commendation. I am proud to serve with you.”