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Trooper named Missouri Employee of the Month for rescuing child abuse victim

ST LOUIS  — A local state highway patrolman who rescued a 12-year-old boy from his abusive parents has been named Missouri's state employee of the month for November, officials said Monday.

Esteban M. Reynoso works in Troop C, which patrols the counties of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Perry, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Warren, and Washington.

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In May, as he was preparing to end his shift, Reynoso responded to a call for a pedestrian in the road near where St. Charles County meets Warren County. Reynoso came across a 12-year-old boy walking along the road. Reynoso talked with the boy and noticed several bruises on him, but the boy initially denied being abused. 

Eventually, after Reynoso talked with him for a while, the boy admitted that his father and stepmother physically abused him. The boy escaped only because they had forgotten to handcuff him to his bed that day. Underweight at 76 pounds at the time, the boy was treated for malnourishment. 

The case was turned over to the Warren County Sheriff's Office, which arrested the boy's parents on charges of felony child abuse. The father was also charged with kidnapping. 

“Trooper Reynoso utilized the Patrol’s Interdiction for the Protection of a Child training and demonstrated a commitment to protecting those who are vulnerable to abuse,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said in a statement. “Trooper Reynoso’s initial work was then thoroughly investigated by Warren County Sheriff’s Office to bring about justice for the child. This case is a great example of caring law enforcement officers working together to protect the public.”

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