A couple adopted a brother and sister from Ghana then starved them and treated them worse than their other children. Kenny Fry, 42, and his wife Kelly, 40, were found to have neglected the two youngsters to the point where they were badly malnourished.
The 10-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy had been adopted years earlier from Ghana, and flown to live with the Frys at their home in Osceola in Iowa.
A court heard how the children, then aged eight and nine, told social workers how they’d been forced to spend all day in the room after being rescued in early 2018.
The children were rescued after a neighbor saw them locked outside the Fry residence during 15F (-9C) January weather.
She told KCCI: ‘They were knocking on the door. ‘It sounded like they were crying, “Let me in.” ‘I can’t say exactly what they were saying, but I could hear crying out. ‘I just thought, “Something is not right” Just knowing it was so cold outside and those poor kids were locked out.’
After being taken into care the children told social workers that if they left their rooms, an alarm would sound, with the Frys then forcing them to perform squat and push-up exercises as punishment.
Doctors discovered the girl had a distended abdomen consistent with malnutrition, while her brother was undersized for his age.
The children were made to live in a single bare bedroom furnished with a small plastic mat, blanket and bucket for them to use as a toilet. They also told social workers how they’d been made to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Des Moines Register reported.
The Frys other five children were cared for properly, allowed to live comfortably, and eat a varied diet. Kenny and Kelly Fry admitted two counts of child endangerment after striking a plea deal which saw more serious felony charges dropped.
They were sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $12,500.
The Frys tried to claim their abuse of the children was to punish them for misbehaving.
After removing the youngsters from their care, social workers said they behaved well and nothing like the way alleged by their adoptive parents.