Clarissa and Brett Tobiasson have been charged with child abuse after locking their two-year-old adopted son in their mouse-infested basement until the little boy ate his daily quota of carrots. The toddler was forced to eat so many carrots that his skin turned orange. The little boy is being cared for by his grandmother, while the other siblings are in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.
The quiet Eagle Valley, Utah neighborhood where the Tobiassons live. The child abuse went on for several months last year.
Clarissa Tobiasson's statement. Clarissa said that she was unaware it was illegal to lock a child in a room for hours at a time. The little boy was locked in the basement from 7 at night until 7 in the morning.
The basement. The two-year-old was locked in the dark, windowless basement. There were no lights, so he would bump into things.
Brett Tobiasson. Brett Tobiasson promised the little boy that if he ate the rest of his carrots, he would be rewarded with pizza in the morning. However, in the morning, when it was discovered that the little boy had soiled himself, he was given carrots instead.
No access to the bathroom. The little boy had no access to the bathroom whatsoever while he was locked in the basement. He was forced to hide his waste in a hole in the basement wall.
Clarissa's explanation. Clarissa told a friend that she was forcing the little boy to eat only carrots because she knew that he didn't like them. She was punishing him for no reason.
Carotenemia. The little boy was evaluated at a hospital for signs of abuse. A pediatric nurse noted that his skin had an orange tint.
The Tobiassons. The Tobiassons were arrested on suspicion of child abuse. They are accused of attempting to inflict serious injury on their minor son.