SPRING, Texas (AP) -

A 5-year-old boy suburban Houston is hospitalized for bumps and bruises and severe malnutrition and his father and stepmother are accused of locking him in a closet at their home.

The case began last week when Harris County deputies responded to a disturbance call involving 24-year-old Bradley Bleimeyer and his 16-year-old stepson.  The boy told officers a younger stepbrother was being neglected and locked in a closet.

Authorities say they found the closet but the 33-year-old stepmom, Tammi Bleimeyer, had left with the child before they arrived. She was contacted but refused to return, then was found the next day at a motel.

She's free on $2,000 bond on a child endangerment charge. Her husband is held without bond.  He already was out on bond on a burglary charge.