ESCANABA (WWJ/AP) – It’s a story almost too appalling to believe. A woman has pleaded guilty to torturing and abusing her son who was kept inside their home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for four years.

The guilty plea came Thursday in Delta County after the woman waived her right to a key hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence for a trial.

The woman’s boyfriend is expected to make a similar guilty plea later Thursday.

Police in Escanaba say the 15-year-old boy was kept inside the Escanaba home for four years, rarely leaving a room made from tarps while being tortured and abused.

“There was a large room, like an attic, and a smaller room using tarps that were stapled to the walls and floor,” said  Escanaba police Capt. Jamie Segorski said back in April. “The only source of heat was a space heater. He was allowed on the stairs to eat.”

A neighbor told a local TV station that, whenever he asked about the boy, the mother said he was downstate visiting his biological father.

He was removed from the home in April after a worried relative who hadn’t seen him in a long time called police.

The boy’s mother and her boyfriend have been held in jail since the discovery.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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