Professor Charged With Manslaughter After Teen Son With Autism Drowns in Pool With Arms Bound
Police allege 16-year-old Samuel Koets was left unsupervised in the yard last March for more than an hour
Seven months after his teenage son with autism drowned in a frigid pool, a 50-year-old community college professor has been accused by Michigan authorities of child abuse and involuntary manslaughter, according to multiple news outlets.
MLive.com, WOOD-TV, and FOX 17 all report that Timothy Alan Koets was arraigned on Friday, accused of leaving 16-year-old Samuel Koets unsupervised last March 28, with his hands partially bound.
The teen, who had severe autism, was found dead, face down in the icy water, sparking an investigation into the drowning.
Koets, an associate professor at Grand Rapids Community College, was arrested at the school on Thursday. His son was non-verbal, and had the functioning level of a 13- to 17-month-old, according to MLive.com.
Detectives assigned to the case allegedly found “deplorable” conditions in the teen’s room, which was located in the basement of the family’s home in Georgetown Township.
Reports indicate police found fecal matter throughout the basement, including on the boy’s mattress, which lacked sheets.
WOOD-TV reports that Koets was charged with three counts of child abuse and one count of involuntary manslaughter. It was unclear Monday how he pleaded to those charges.
FOX 17 reports that the manslaughter charge alleges Koets left his son alone in the backyard on March 28 and went to work. An hour later, the boy was spotted in the pool.
One of the child abuse counts alleges Samuel’s bedroom was unsafe and accuses Koets of “improperly binding child’s hands and leaving child unattended.”
He is also charged with child abuse committed in the presence of another child.
It is alleged that Koets texted his daughter, asking her to check on “freak.” The daughter allegedly sent him photos of Samuel in the pool, water up to his chest, and urged the girl to pull him out by his hand. He texted her two more times, according to reports, but got no reply from his daughter.
Police allege he made no attempt to notify the authorities of the potential dangerous situation unfolding in his backyard.
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The pool had no protective fencing surrounding it.
Koets posted $50,000 bond for his release. Efforts to reach him Monday were unsuccessful.
PEOPLE could not determine who his attorney is.