A boy and girl allegedly locked in a bathroom and starved for years look like Nazi death camp survivors, according to a doctor who's part of a medical team helping the children to recover.
"I've seen pictures of the Holocaust. That's exactly what these
children look like," Dr. Kathi Amrhein said Monday in describing
the 16-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, who are both
about half their normal size. The girl weighs about 40 pounds and
the boy about 30 pounds.
"It's the next worst thing to being dead, as far as I'm
concerned," the pediatrician said, adding that damage to the
children's' health could be irreversible and it will take months to
return them to "a semi-normal state."
Mary Woods, Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center spokeswoman,
said the children remained in stable condition Monday following
their hospitalization on Thursday. Woods declined to go into detail
about the children's mental state, but said, "These kids are
happier than they've ever been."
Regina Rios, 33, the mother of the children, her boyfriend,
Tomas Granados, 33, and Rios' mother, Esther Rios, 56, remained in
jail in lieu of $100,000 bail apiece, isolated from other inmates
"for their own safety," Carson City Undersheriff Steve Albertsen
They've been charged with felony child neglect and false
imprisonment, and face a Feb. 3 preliminary hearing.
Albertsen, who joined Amrhein, Woods and other hospital
representatives at a news conference, said investigators are
continuing to sift through evidence gathered at the three-bedroom,
two-bath apartment where the children lived. He said he wouldn't
speculate on a motive for the alleged abuse.
Three other children, 17- and 9-year-old boys and a 12-year-old
girl who appeared to be healthy, have been placed in child
protective custody. Asked whether the 17-year-old might be charged,
Albertsen said that would be up to prosecutors.
Deputies were led to the home after getting a report of a little
girl pushing a shopping cart full of food along a city street on
Thursday. It turned out to be the 16-year-old, who said she was
running away from home.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said evidence gathered so far bolsters the
girl's story of being locked in a bathroom with her brother and
starved for years. He also said it's one of the worst cases he's
seen in nearly 30 years of law enforcement work.
The girl hadn't attended school since her family moved to Carson
City from Los Angeles in about 2000. Her 11-year-old brother also
wasn't in school, although the other children were.