PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - The mother of a 6-year-old autistic boy found dead days ago and her boyfriend were indicted Friday by a Scioto County grand jury on charges of aggravated murder, murder, three counts of endangering children, tampering with evidence and gross sexual abuse of a corpse.

Douglas Lee Hunt, 33, and Margarita L. White were named defendants in the seven-count indictment, according to Scioto County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Kuhn.

The two are charged with purposely causing the death of Tyler Joseph "TJ" Caudill on Aug. 23 and leaving the body in a house where it wasn't recovered until earlier this week.

It is not a death penalty case at this point, Kuhn said Friday.

"The case still is under investigation," he said. "If more information comes in, we could file a superseding indictment."

The pair also are charged with torturing or cruelly abusing the boy, according to the indictment.

White and Hunt are charged with physically abusing the boy and withholding food and water, according to a criminal complaint.

While White was lodged in the Scioto County Jail, Hunt was lodged in the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville pending an extradition hearing, Kuhn said.

Hunt was involved in an altercation Sunday night before being taken to the Southern Ohio Medical Center and later was transferred to Cabell Huntington Hospital for additional treatment and observation. Hunt was discharged and then taken into custody by Huntington police.

The boy's body was recovered Sunday. He hadn't been seen by family members since June and a missing child report was filed last week with Portsmouth police.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth police are warning the public that there are reports of people misrepresenting the family of the child in order to collect donations intended to help pay funeral expenses.

In the past few days, both Caudill's family and the Portsmouth police have received reports of multiple people raising money for the family's expenses.

While the family appreciates the efforts of those trying to help, there are only two legitimate accounts endorsed by the family, according to police.

The T.J. Caudill Memorial Fund has been established at Member's Choice Credit Union at 145 Russell Road, Ashland. The phone number is 606-326-8000.

The other is a "Justice4TJ - Tammy Stephens Conley" GoFundMe account.


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