Police say a man and his girlfriend are charged with murdering the girlfriend’s 3-year-old son in what a prosecutor described as an “unspeakable act of depravity.”.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrests of Gary Fellenbaum and Jillian Tait Thursday morning. He says Fellenbaum, his wife, and girlfriend, Tait, all lived together in a mobile home in West Caln Township and worked at a local Walmart.
On Tuesday authorities were called to their residence for the report of an unresponsive child. Responding EMTs found 3-year-old Scott McMillan suffering from bruises, lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body.
Police say Fellenbaum, Tait, and Fellenbaum’s wife, Amber, confessed that the little boy had been beaten with blunt and sharp objects, whipped, taped to a chair with electrical tape and beaten, hung up by his feet and beaten, leading to his death.
Authorities say they beat Scott to death using homemade weapons, like a whip, a curtain rod, a frying pan, and an aluminum strip.
Police say Tait explained that the fatal beating began when the boy wouldn’t eat his breakfast.
Hogan said, “Little Scotty McMillan is dead. Over a three day period … he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall.”
Hogan said professionals with deep experience in these types of cases were brought to tears.
“Our ER nurses see a lot of terrible things. But when they saw his body, they wept,” Hogan said.
The district attorney says Gary Fellanbaum and Tait went car shopping, bought pizza, took a nap and engaged in sexual activity – all while the child lay dying after weeks of relentless torture.
Tait allegedly told police that Fellenbaum beat her 6 and 3-year-old boys on a number of occasions. He would allegedly hit them with a closed fist in the head, face, chest and buttocks, and on one occasion she says he strung the boys up by their feet and beat them, while she and Fellenbaum laughed.
That 6-year-old boy is now in the care of relatives.
Fellenbaum and Tait are charged with murder and are currently being held without bail. Hogan says he will be seeking the death penalty.
One neighbor told us, “I don’t know if they should [be sentenced to death]or not… because they would probably suffer more in jail all their lives.”
The Fellenbaums and Tait only moved into the mobile home community last month. Authorities say there are no signs of drug use in the home.
Amber Fellenbaum, who lived in the home with their 11-month-old child, has been charged with child endangerment for not calling police. She is currently being held on $500,000 bail.
Law enforcement veterans tell Action News that they have never seen a child abuse murder case like this one.
Hogan said, “When you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for little Scotty McMillan. The brief nightmare that was his life… is over.”
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