Brett Parker Tobiasson, 31, and Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, 27, the adoptive parents of a 6-year-old boy were arrested based on claims by a witness that the boy was locked in a basement each night. The basement was said to have no bathroom and the boy was left in total darkness.
The witness said, “The child had an ‘orangey’ tint to his skin,” according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, per Fox 8. This was apparently caused by a diet largely based on carrots.
When a pizza was brought to the home for dinner, it is reported the boy was told by his parents that he could not have any pizza until he finished his carrots and that he had to finish them within 15 minutes. When he did not accomplish this, he was not allowed to have the pizza, according to Fox 8.
The adoptive parents are now facing felony child abuse charges, Fox 8 reported.
“He would be required to eat carrots before every meal, and if he did not finish them within a certain time limit, he would not be allowed to eat the rest of the meal,” the press release said about the unidentified boy. “In another instance, he was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before anything else.”
Eating foods high in beta-carotene can cause a yellowish tint to the skin, called carotenemia. Typically noticed in a person’s palms and the soles of their feet, it usually occurs in children, according to the dermatology clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services investigated the couple, which also has adopted the boy’s 2-year-old brother and has a 2-month-old daughter of their own, and arrested them earlier this month. Both have been charged with one count of child abuse which is a second-degree felony. Bail was set at $10,000.
A grandmother is now caring for the 6-year-old child. The Division of Child and Family Services has custody of the other two children.
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