A 15-year-old Lincoln County boy who was reportedly sleeping in a barn with farm animals and suffering from severe malnutrition is now hospitalized while his father, stepmother and two older brothers are jailed on child neglect complaints, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A 15-year-old Lincoln County boy who was reportedly sleeping in a barn with farm animals and suffering from severe malnutrition is now hospitalized while his father, stepmother and two older brothers are jailed on child neglect complaints, prosecutors said Wednesday.

When he was found, the boy, who resided with his family at a rural residence at 101529 S. 3470 Road between Meeker and Prague, was likely within a week of death had he not been hospitalized, said Pottawatomie/Lincoln County First Assistant District Attorney Adam Panter.

“We're incredibly thankful that someone called... they literally saved this child's life,” Panter said. “He could have died and been buried on that property and no one would have ever known.”

The boy hasn't been to school in at least two years and was supposed to be home-schooled, Panter said. He was starving to death even though the family home, upon execution of a search warrant, was found to be fully stocked with plenty of food. The family's farm animals also had plenty of food and were being fed, Panter said.

The boy had allegedly been eating twigs and grass, Panter said, and still may have to undergo surgery to remove those items from his stomach. He's likely to be hospitalized for at least a month or more, Panter said.

Panter said the case was investigated by DHS and the District Attorney's Task Force after a concerned passerby reported something wasn't right.

As soon as investigators walked up to the boy and saw his condition, Panter said he was taken into protective custody. A 4-year-old child also was living in the home, Panter said. That child did not appear abused or neglected, but also was removed from the home by DHS.

Panter said the 15-year-old appeared to be targeted for the abuse and that world became his reality.

Investigators could see the teen was underweight and he also had a wound on the top of his head. According to the affidavit, that head wound had maggots and he told investigators his father allegedly dug those out and then covered the wound with glue.

Based on information in the affidavits, doctors said without intervention, the boy, who was severely malnourished, would have likely been dead within a week; the teen boy weighs just 80 pounds.

In addition to being malnourished, the boy has several broken bones as well as shotgun pellets from the past still in one of his legs. Panter said he has several injuries consistent with prior abuse.

The affidavit shows the boy had not been allowed to leave the property for the past two years.

Panter said the boy's father and stepmother, along with two other brothers, have been arrested in the case; formal charges have not yet been filed.

Panter said those arrested on complaints of child neglect in the case are: Jimmy L. Jones Sr., 34, Amy A. Jones, 46, Jonathan Luke Plank, 20, and Tyler Joe Adkins, 24.

In addition to neglect complaints, Jimmy L. Jones Sr. is jailed on a complaint of child abuse by injury.

The affidavit shows investigators noted that the remaining members of the residence of the home were all well fed and that the father worked a full-time job; Panter said the boy's father is a prison guard.

Jimmy L. Jones and Amy A. Jones are jailed in the Lincoln County jail, while Plank and Adkins are jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.

Watch for updates.