Let us pretend. Pretend you are the smartest person on the planet. Indeed, you are so intelligent and physically superior; you actually might be the next step in the evolutionary chain between one species and the next. Do you help the species you share the planet with, or do you keep to yourself and hope for the best?
Then you encounter something like this:
CARNATION, Wash. – The parents of a 14-year-old Carnation girl who nearly starved were arrested last night after formal charges were filed against them.
The girl’s father, 43-year-old John Pomeroy, and stepmother, 44-year-old Rebecca Long, are charged with criminal mistreatment for allegedly starving and mistreating the girl. They were released on bail.
The couple faces as many as four years in prison if convicted, King County prosecutor’s spokesman Dan Donohoe said. Investigators say they denied the 14-year-old girl food and water, leaving her in such bad shape she looked like a concentration camp survivor.
The couple is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 27 in King County Superior Court.
Police say the girl was just 4-feet-7 tall and weighed only 48 pounds when deputies discovered her emaciated, dehydrated and starving to death two months ago.
The investigation began August 13 after Child Protective Services (CPS) received a call from a neighbor who heard screams coming from the house. CPS called the King County Sheriff’s Office and a deputy conducted a welfare check at the house.
The deputy talked with the daughter privately after her father said she was the one screaming. Appearing pale and skinny, the girl looked like she was 7 or 8 years old, rather than her stated age of 14.
“He weighed her, she was 47 (48) pounds,” said King County Sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart. “Very malnourished, teeth were in horrible shape. As it turned out, all of her teeth had to be pulled or the remaining ones had to be capped.”
She said her stepmother disciplined her by restricting her water intake and that she was given only toast to eat. She also said she hadn’t seen a doctor in several years.
The girl and her younger brother, 12, were immediately taken from the house.
“The boy was not as bad as she was,” said Urquhart. “He had very bad teeth… but at least he was being fed.”
The girl was admitted to Children’s Medical Center where she was treated for severe malnutrition for two weeks. Officials say the girl and her brother are currently in foster care and doing well.
In the month and a half the girl has been in foster care, she has gained more than 20 pounds, prosecutors said. Her foster father says she is attending a private school and making friends.
Upon investigation, detectives discovered the stepmother restricted her daughter’s water intake to about half of a small Dixie cup per day, say sheriff officials. The stepmother monitored her daughter’s showers and bathroom habits to keep her from drinking water, and showers were limited to every two or three weeks.
“During the day and night, she was locked in her room. There was a double deadbolt on the door,” said Urquhart. “But her brother had a key and he occasionally would let her out and she would sneak into the bathroom and drink out of the toilet because she was afraid to turn on the faucet because she thought it would wake up her mother.”
The stepmother figured out that she had been drinking from the toilet. As punishment, the stepmother duct-taped the girl’s hands behind her back and dunked her head in the toilet, said officials. Both the brother and the sister were then forced to sleep on the floor in a room with a dresser pushed in front of the door at night.
“It got so bad that during winter, water would condense on the windows and would run down on the inside of the windows,” said Urquhart. “The little girl had a straw and she would suck up what water she could. At some point, her mother found the straw and took that away from her.”
Detectives served a search warrant on the house and found the girl’s room had a double deadbolt on the door, confirming she was locked in the room at times during the day. Both children had not been enrolled in school for years.
The detectives also collected evidence showing the family had health insurance and that the girl’s younger brother had seen a doctor in the last few years. Detectives add the family’s two dogs were in good health and had recent trips to the veterinarian. Investigators say Pomeroy is a software engineer and Long does not work outside of the home.
KING 5 News has also learned CPS had been called to the home before. Three years ago, the girl told teachers at school she was being locked in her room for long periods of time. CPS found the complaint was true and recommended counseling, then closed the case. Some time after that, the parents began home-schooling their daughter.
Criminal Treatment in the First Degree is a Class B felony.
My question is interesting now, is it not? This, my 8.3 readers, is the question I ask in my Bunny Trouble books. While the series may end in a glorious look at the future, the road between is a bleak tale that has a firm basis in reality.
If you were Homo Universalis would you have a tolerance of such wickedness in self defense or would you anchor yourself in righteous fury? Down one path, you could go about saving the society you live in as it starts to collapse upon itself. Down the other path is death and destruction: the end of almost everything. Your civilization is not worth efforts to save it.
The Reset button is there before you. Do you press it?