Mom who killed tot is paroled

Date: 2005-10-11

Mom who killed tot is paroled

By Staff And Wire Reports
October 11, 2005

Renee Polreis, convicted in 1997 of beating her adopted son to death, has been paroled to a Greeley community corrections program.

Polreis, sentenced to 18 years in prison, has been on intensive supervised parole since January.

The Weld County Community Corrections Board voted 6-2 to approve the move.

Polreis wears an ankle monitor, the Colorado Department of Corrections said.

She was convicted of beating David Polreis, 2 1/2, to death in 1996 with wooden cooking spoons. He had been adopted from a Russian orphanage six months earlier.

Polreis, who did not testify at her trial, originally was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

At a sentence reduction hearing in 2000, Polreis said therapists believed that the boy had been physically and sexually abused at the Russian orphanage.

Family videotapes from the first month after his arrival showed the child tossing his head against the back of a chair as if trying to injure himself. Polreis said the boy threw himself against walls and bit his 8-year-old brother, Isaac.

There had been no similar problems with Isaac, who was also adopted from a Russian orphanage, she said.

But David erupted into fits of rage, sometimes injuring himself, and sexually abused himself, Polreis said at the hearing.

Though David Polreis weighed only 20 pounds, the autopsy report indicated he may have been almost 5, Polreis said at the hearing.

The boy was named for his adoptive father, who died of cancer in January. Isaac Polreis reportedly lives with relatives.

On the day the boy was killed, Renee Polreis was at home with him and used pizza and chocolate-covered donuts to encourage good behavior.

She said he spent five hours sitting in a diaper and hitting himself against a wall. When he lunged at her, she said she used a wooden spoon
to defend herself.

Later, she bathed him and put him to bed. But when she saw a light on in the basement, she found him in the laundry room, covered with feces and sexually abusing himself.

After she bathed him and put him to bed again, he threw up, she said. After carrying him to the bathtub, she called family members for help.

Autopsy photos showed massive bruises on the skin between his knees and neck and serious trauma to the head and stomach. He choked on his own
vomit and died.

Polreis said David suffered from reactive attachment disorder. The disorder occurs in children who are severely abused.

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