The 6-year-old boy came to St. Paul to spend the summer with his father and stepmother. But when the boy's mother picked him up in late August, he had bruises, lacerations and scars from head to toe, according to court documents.

The boy's father, Jonathan Lee Carey, 26, was charged Friday in Ramsey County District Court with felony malicious punishment of a child. He is on the loose; a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Carey's wife, Mariesa E. Carey, has been charged with two felony counts of drug possession and sales and one gross-misdemeanor count of child neglect.

The criminal complaints say that when the boy returned to Chicago with his mother, "he had a burn mark on his tongue, abrasions to his lips and facial area, swelling of the right knee and thigh, multiple abrasions to the legs and arms of varying degrees of healing and ligature marks on his wrists."

The boy told authorities "his father had hit him in the bathtub and tied him with a belt," the complaints said.

According to a search warrant affidavit, in addition to the cuts, bruises and scarring, the boy's medical reports also showed he was missing teeth and was malnourished.

The affidavit said the boy told authorities that his father, his father's wife and his grandmother all abused him. Police have not presented a case against the grandmother to the County Attorney's office, spokesman Paul Gustafson said Friday.

When police searched the Careys' apartment in the 1500 block of Ames Avenue on Tuesday, they found nylon strings tied to a bed frame. The strings were consistent with ligature marks on the boy's wrists, the charges said.

Mariesa Carey told police her 4-year-old son uses the strings to tie up his toys, the documents said.

Police also found "a large quantity" of marijuana, along with packaging materials and a scale. Mariesa Carey initially told police the drugs were hers and then later changed her story, saying her husband brought the drugs to the apartment last Saturday.

She said she and her husband are separated "due to his cheating on her with another woman." She told police that Jonathan Carey's two children from a previous marriage came to stay with them in late June and left in late August, the documents said. "She denied causing or knowing about any child abuse," the charges said.

Pat Pheifer • 651-298-1551