Colorado couple jailed for killing 11-year-old son, 'forced him to drink 3 liters of water' and kicked him
Ryan Sabin, 41, who is a public affairs sergeant in the US Army and his wife Tara, 42, are now facing several charges, including child abuse and first-degree murder
EL PASO COUNTY, COLORADO: A couple from Colorado turned themselves to the authorities after being accused of killing their 11-year-old son by forcing him to drink large amounts of water. The child's parents, identified as 41-year-old Ryan Sabin and 42-year-old Tara Sabin, are now facing several charges, including child abuse and first-degree murder.
The Sabins were arrested after they turned themselves to the authorities on Tuesday, June 16, and are currently being kept at the El Paso County jail without bail. According to the prosecutors, the boy, identified as Zachary Sabin, died on March 11 after his parents made him drink water because his urine was dark in color. An arrest affidavit says Zachary suffered other physical abuse, as did five other children. Online booking documents do not indicate if the Sabins have hired an attorney who can speak on their behalf. 11 News reported that Ryan, a public affairs sergeant in the US Army, is presently a soldier at Fort Carson, while Tara is an employee at TESSA and currently on unpaid administrative leave of absence.
After the autopsy, the country coroner's officer concluded that the child died of forced water intoxication after he was told to drink 24-ounce bottles, about 3 liters of water over four hours without eating. The coroner's office also stated that the boy suffered from blunt force trauma and blood was found on his left eyebrow and forehead. He also had had bruises on his head, arms, shin and buttocks.
Tara Sabin, the boy's stepmother, told authorities that Zachary wore a diaper at night because of a hereditary urological problem, according to an arrest affidavit. While Ryan Sabin reportedly told authorities that the 11-year-old was "only taking sips and throwing up the water" on the night of March 10. Ryan told the investigators that the boy was throwing up because "he was drinking the water too slowly and getting air in his stomach which caused the water to sit on top of it." Ryan then reportedly demanded that Zachary chug all the water and "burp it out," the warrant stated.
It added that the boy threw a fit, which the parents described as "flailing around and putting on an act." Ryan reportedly admitted to kicking the boy and then putting him to bed thinking he was fine. Right before Zachary was put to bed, he complained of pain in his legs and was non-verbal and drowsy. Ryan also told the investigators that he tried to pick his son up and dropped him, hitting his head. Ryan then carried him outside thinking that the cold air would "snap" the boy out of his fit.
Hours after the incident, Ryan, made a 911 call at about 6:15 am on March 11, after the 12-year-old was found in his bed with foam coming from his mouth and blood on his bed.
The boy's biological mother, Angela Tuetken, who would see the boy every other week, while talking to the Colorado Springs Gazette said that the child was a voracious reader who loved animals and hoped to be a veterinarian or zoologist. “He was a very gentle soul,” Tuetken said. According to Zachary's obituary, he was a fifth-grade student at Explorer Elementary School in Colorado Springs.