Volusia County Couple Both Arrested, Charged for Child Abuse


DELAND, Fla. - Two parents have both been arrested and charged with dozens of counts of child abuse and related charges. 32 year-old Shawn Stone and 28 year-old Taylor Schaefer are accused of administering physical beatings and severe neglect to a 5 year-old boy.

According to the Volusia Sheriff's Office, video footage taken inside the home depicts multiple different acts of abuse to Schaefer's son, supported by interviews with witnesses. Schaefer called 911 because she suspected Stone was beating her son, and later checked the in-home videos to confirm her conclusion.

The VSO said in their report that video shows the victim being beaten with both individuals present, at times limping and displaying visible injuries while receiving no medical care from either adult.

At one point the victim is said to have been left for hours on end with his hands tied behind his back, beaten to the point where Schaefer was shown mopping up his blood. He was tied up for over 19 hours straight at one point, police say.

All in all, the child was treated for 46 visible injuries on top of internal injuries which included a fractured skull. He was left in a cage and starved for periods of time. Police say an additional child who was in the home was forced to drink boiling water and also beaten repeatedly. A third child was also referenced, though their only listed inflictions were being malnourished and bearing witness to the other abuses.

Stone was arrested initially on May 9th, at that point only charged with one count of aggravated child abuse. He has now been given 23 additional charges, including aggravated child abuse, false imprisonment, child neglect causing great bodily harm, and witness tampering. He is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on no bond.

Schaefer, meanwhile, was arrested Sunday night in Pasco County on her Volusia County warrants. Her booking information is not yet available in either county, but police say she's facing 25 charges.

A GoFundMe account set up for the victims has currently received over $31,000 in donations.