What led to Clarissa and Brett Tobiasson a Utah couple locking their 6 year old adopted Utah son in basement without, food, light or a bathroom and fed carrots only.
Clarissa and Brett Tobiasson a Utah couple have been arrested on child abuse charges after allegedly locking their six year old adopted son every night in the basement without food, water, light or a bathroom.
The boy’s parents were arrested August 3 after a month long police investigation revealed the Tobiasson’s adopted son living in ‘horrifying‘ conditions. Police believe the alleged abuse began when the child was 5.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the child would be locked in a 10 by 10 foot room in a windowless basement of the couple’s Eagle Mountain home from 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 in the morning.
The only thing the boy had in the room was a mattress and blanket to sleep on. Authorities said there was no electricity in the room and nowhere for the child to go to the bathroom.
‘The boy described that he would go to the bathroom while in the room and put the waste in a hole in a wall so he would not get in trouble,’ a press release from the sheriff’s office stated.
Investigators also discovered the child fed a diet that ‘consisted largely of carrots.’
An arrest affidavit cited Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, 27 and Brett Parker Tobiasson, 31, making the boy eat carrots before every meal and if he did not finish the vegetable in a certain amount of time, he wasn’t allowed to eat anything else.
The arrest warrant cited the couple of intentionally inflicting serious physical injury on their son.
Come August 9, the husband and wife were formally charged with one count each of second-degree child abuse. Bail was set at $10,000.
A report via The Daily Herald told of Clarissa Tobiasson telling a friend last year that she forced the boy to eat carrots because she knew he did not like them.
Matters came to the fore after a guest who’d stayed at the family home in the fall of 2016 told investigators one night bringing pizza for dinner, only for the couple to forbid their son to eat any until he finished his carrots, Fox 8 reported.
The parents allegedly gave the child 15 minutes to eat the carrots and when he couldn’t finish in time they refused to give him pizza.
According to June 12 search warrant cited by KSL.com, Brett Tobiasson had promised his son he would give him pizza the next day, but because the child soiled his pants, he was told he could not have the pizza.
The houseguest told authorities that her stay at the house was the ‘worst four days of her life,’ and she had noticed that the little boy had a ‘orangey’ tint to his skin.
‘In another instance he was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else,’ police said.
Court documents also revealed that the adopted six year old would bump into walls in the dark basement, and had told officials during interviews he was scared to be there because ‘there was a mouse and spiders in there’, and the floor of the subterranean room was littered with mouse feces.
The boy also told police that he would soil himself while in the locked room because he wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom. He would then hide it in the walls so he didn’t get in trouble.
When interviewed by police, Clarissa Tobiasson reportedly told detectives she did not know she could not lock her children in their rooms. Define room?
The child, who is now six years old, was adopted by the Tobiassons along with his biological two-year-old brother. The couple also have their own biological two-month-old baby daughter.
The six year old boy is now in the care of his grandmother, while the other two children are in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services.
To date, investigators have yet to say what led to the Utah couple abusing the child to the degree that they did. It wasn’t immediately clear if the other children had also been abused.