Siblings Give Disturbing Details Of Boy's Punishments And
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 30, 2006
PORT ORCHARD, WASHINGTON--It has taken nearly four years for the horrific details to emerge about the alleged abuse and neglect of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of his adoptive parents -- and for at least one of them to face justice for his death.
A November 25, 2002 autopsy revealed that Christopher Michael Forder died the previous day from pneumonia. But whether his death was natural, accidental, suicide or homicide was left "undetermined", even though the forensic pathologist noted that the boy's body was covered with numerous superficial, recent and healed blunt force injuries.
Detectives said they did not have enough evidence at the time to charge Christopher's parents, Robert and Kimberly Ann Forder, with any crimes. The couple reportedly blamed the injuries on the boy himself, explaining that he had "reactive detachment disorder", a condition they said caused him to throw himself against the walls and floor, and to pick and scratch at his own skin.
That diagnosis was never confirmed, authorities later said. The case remained opened and the investigation continued with few new clues.
Earlier this month, some of Christopher's siblings began talking to authorities about what happened to the boy, whom they said was singled out for the most horrible of punishments.
Monday's Central Kitsap Reporter gave an account from court documents by a sister, who was 22 at the time of Christopher's death. In a report to Child Protective Services, the sister said that for four years Mr. and Mrs. Forder routinely beat Christopher an average of six times a day -- striking him between 45 and 100 times; punished him "for acting like an animal" by making him stay outside for several days -- without food, water or blankets -- in a shed where the family kept ducks; forced him to sleep in a crib and wear diapers; made him wear soiled diapers, sometimes on his head; and made him wash his clothes in a 5-gallon bucket, then dunked his head in the dirty water "until he stopped struggling" if he did not get the clothes clean enough.
The sister also said that a few days before Christopher died, the parents deliberately chose not to take him for medical treatment. Instead, they gathered the other children for a meeting, during which they said they had a choice between allowing Christopher to die and then bury him in the back yard, or calling 9-1-1, which would mean all of the children would likely be removed from the home.
Soon after the meeting, the children found the couple performing CPR on Christopher, while one child called 9-1-1.
Interviews with two other siblings have confirmed the older sister's account, investigators said.
Mrs. Forder pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of homicide by abuse-domestic violence and first-degree manslaughter in the boy's death. She remains in the Kitsap County Jail on $1 million bail, awaiting an October 23 trial date. Authorities could not confirm whether Mr. Forder, who is currently in Liberia doing missionary work with seven adopted children, would face similar charges.
"Former Seabeck woman charged with 2002 death of 8-year-old adopted son" (Central Kitsap Reporter)
"'Beyond Abuse; It Was Torture'" (Kitsap Sun)
"Neighbor Saw No Signs of Family Abuse" (Kitsap Sun)