Because he was an officer in Kentucky, Sheriff Pate had no jurisdiction in Indiana. In an attempt to see the boy for himself, Sheriff Pate says he came up with a plan. He told Joseph and Carmen they both had to come to Kentucky before he could release their daughter, betting they would bring Clayton along.

Watch Sheriff Pate discuss trusting his instincts

Joseph and Carmen arrived with Clayton in the backseat of the car. Sheriff Pate wrote in his initial report that the boy showed obvious signs of severe abuse and neglect. "Everything I saw initially, his visual appearance, was just as [the stepsister] had told me it was," he says. "He was a very tired, sick-looking little boy. A little boy that looked beat down."


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