Utah parents arrested for tying up kids and putting boxes over their heads for being 'too loud'
TOOELE, UTAH: Utah parents Lori Carling and Chris Andersen were arrested for tying their children and putting boxes on their heads as a form of discipline. The 37-year-old mother and the 36-year-old father were arrested by the Tooele City Police Department, as per the affidavit obtained by Newsweek.
Carling and Andersen each face two felony charges of child abuse with serious bodily injury. As per documents, a police officer was called into an unspecified elementary school by the principal on May 2. The police were told that an 11-year-old boy shared a video with the principal that showed his two younger brothers, aged 8 and 5, in timeout at home standing with a box over their heads and their hands tied behind their backs.
As per the affidavit obtained by Deseret, "He took the video because he gets angry that this is happening to his brothers and needed to show the video to someone to get help. He stated sometimes he felt like untying them and running away together. This abuse was allegedly happening for two years and every time his brothers were "too loud in the morning" they were placed in a time-out for the entire day.
The boy then revealed that Carling, who is his stepmother, took part in most of the abuse, but Andersen, who is his father, was also aware of it. As per the affidavit, the 11-year-old boy stated, "A marble maze toy that rattles is placed on top of both boxes — one for each brother — and if they move at all, they have to tie one leg to their hands, leaving them with one leg (to stand on) for 30 minutes or more if they move or talk." When the police spoke to the brothers, they confirmed the story.
The police allegedly found a "burn mark" on each of their chins, which the boys said was due to their chins rubbing against the boxes. The 8-year-old boy said the box was too tight and hurt his ears. He added that Carling placed a granola box inside the bigger box "to make it a smaller space for them to not be able to move their heads inside at all." After searching the house, the police found the boxes and the rattling marble maze toys.
According to police documents, "A search warrant was granted to search their residence and the 2 boxes that the boys described along with 2 black shoelaces and 2 marble rattling toys were seized along with a smaller box that the older sibling stated was used to have the victims place their feet against the wall and not be able to move," as per CW39.
"The boxes appeared in my opinion way too small for the two victims to be able to get any airway inside," said the searching officer. When the officer spoke to Carling, she admitted to using the boxes "as a form of discipline." She also revealed that the "timeouts" normally occur in two-hour increments, such as after breakfast and then again after lunch. Carling also admitted to tying their hands with shoelaces and told the police that this had been going on for at least three months.
Andersen reportedly admitted to the box routine, saying it was both his and his wife's idea. He added that "It initially started as a joke and scare tactic" but it continued because "nothing they did was working on the children." The nurse who conducted the medical evaluation told police that the kids often worried about fainting in the boxes and that she saw cuts on the 8-year-old's ear from being inside the box. On May 9, the police found out that three more children had been previously removed from the same residence.
The boys were allegedly spotted sleeping on wooden floors with no mattresses, and the room smelled like urine, as per a family member. Andersen reportedly made the 8-year-old sit outside in the freezing cold, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, pants, and socks because he soiled his pants. While the Utah Division of Child and Family Services took the 8-year-old and 5-year-old, police told Newsweek that the 11-year-old boy joined his other siblings at a family member's home.