Mother Locked Away, Facing 50 Years As Investigators Learn Of Untold Cruelty Hiding In Attic

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RWC News Mother Locked Away, Facing 50 Years As Investigators Learn Of Untold Cruelty Hiding In Attic

Susan Bardo will serve up to 50 years for the abuse and rape of her son Curtis.

A Michigan man is speaking out for the first time as he shares the story behind years of horrible abuse. Although he is an adult now, Curtis Miller will never fully recover from the mental, the physical and sexual abuse he endured for five years. Miller was kidnapped as a child, not by a stranger but instead by someone he should have been able to trust. He was kidnapped and abused by his biological mother. When he talks about the abuse, Miller had some simple yet chilling words for his mother:

“You literally took my soul away from me.”

When Miller was 10-years-old, he lived a happy life with his father in Detroit. His mother Susan Bardo at some point kidnapped him and left the area. She relocated Miller as a child and moved to Escanaba. From the outside of the home, none of the neighbors had any idea about the horrors going on inside. Miller was hidden away in the attic where he lived alone for five years.


Being forced to live alone in seclusion would be abuse on its own, but this was only the start of the horrible things Miller lived through. He was bound to a chair in the attic where his only release occurred once a day to use the bathroom. When he was found after being duct taped to a chair, his body was covered in a painful rash due to him urinating on himself and being left to sit in wet clothing while restrained.

RWC News Mother Locked Away, Facing 50 Years As Investigators Learn Of Untold Cruelty Hiding In Attic

Carl Pellinen is also serving time for the abuse of Miller.

Miller also saw sexual abuse as a child at the hands of both his mother and her live-in boyfriend. The mother routinely raped the boy as the boyfriend Carl Pellinen watched. Both Bardo and Pellinen are currently serving lengthy prison terms for their part in the abuse. According to a recent report about the couple:

“Carl Pellinen, 47, pleaded no contest to aiding and abetting first-degree criminal sexual conduct and guilty to first-degree child abuse. He was sentenced to 17.5 to 50 years on the CSC charge and 25 to 50 years on the abuse charge. The sentences will run concurrently.


An Escanaba woman who pleaded guilty to torturing and sexually abusing her 15-year-old son has been sentenced in Delta County Circuit Court.

Susan Bardo, 46, was given 20 to 50 years in prison Tuesday for keeping the boy in an 8’-by-10’ room lined with tarps for the past five years.”

Miller endured years of abuse, but this ended as one relative finally grew skeptical about the sudden disappearance of the young boy. To keep the child away from his father, Bardo returned home from school and moved him out of the area. The father looked for the missing boy, but the family of the mother at some point also realized something was not right. It seems that the family of Bardo may not have been aware that she, in fact, had the boy. They did know he was missing and kept asking questions about the search.

RWC News Mother Locked Away, Facing 50 Years As Investigators Learn Of Untold Cruelty Hiding In Attic

The home where Miller was held for 5 years.


An interesting point, in this case, is tied to the fact that no one searched for the boy with his mother is appears. Instead of looking at her motives to take the kid from his father, the mother was able to hide him in her home for years. This seems like a massive failure on the part of the local police who should have been looking for the missing child.

When the authorities were asked to help the family of Bardo, they found the mistreated and injured Miller duct taped to a chair in a room covered with tarps. The tarps were there to collect human waste and discarded food as Miller was rarely allowed to leave the chamber.

After being found, Miller was transported to a local hospital where they went to work to locate his father. He was returned to the custody of his father and the wife he had just married. The new wife, Missy Parker-Miller, happened to be a social worker by trade.

Parker-Miller described the scene to a local reporter:

“When we first got that phone call I thought, this is going to be hell on earth,” said Missy Parker-Miller, Curtis’ adoptive mom.


Missy, who happens to be a social worker, had just married Curtis’ dad. They had tried to find Curtis, but always thought his mom, while hiding from them, was caring for him.

She says when police told them what Curtis had been through they were devastated.

“He was very angry at his birth mother and her boyfriend and he was taking that anger out on everyone around him,” said Missy.

“I admit when I first came down here I thought everything was a threat and I had to protect myself,” said Curtis.

“I was afraid of him,” said Missy. “I told my daughter to lock her doors at night. I just did not know what he would do, but I saw Curtis as a person who had been hurt. I hoped he could heal.”

Curtis was able to recover from the years of abuse and recently graduated from a college prep high school in Michigan. He was also honored as a public speaker with a $10,000 scholarship.

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Emma Laftchu
I began reporting for RWC News on October 12th of 2016. Prior to that I was a reporter for WOKR Radio.

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