Parents lock boy, 6, in room, make him eat carrots, police say

Posted at 6:53 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 18:53:34-04

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UT (KSTU/CNN) - Speaking outside the American Fork Police Department, Sgt. Spencer Cannon says it started months ago before the boy turned 6. 

He said the parents, 27-year-old Clarissa and 31-year-old Brett Tobiasson, routinely locked the boy in an unfinished 10 foot by 10 foot room from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The room had no windows and no lights and the only thing in the room was a mattress on the floor with a blanket.

"He would go to the bathroom in this room. He was afraid he would get in trouble so he would take the waste and put it in a hole in the wall,” Cannon said. Cannon said the couple forced the boy to eat carrots before every meal.

One witness thinks his skin was even starting to turn colors as a result. The bizarre part is that it seems the parents let a close friend or relative come over to their place. That person saw the way the boy was living and reported it. 

"Parents who, at least one of them, made statements to us that they didn’t think anything - that it was against the law to lock your child in a room in the way that they had been doing,” Cannon said. 

The couple has been arrested and charged with child abuse. KSTU reports that  the boy is now with a grandmother, and two younger siblings are now in the custody of the state Division of Child and Family Services.     

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