Police: Death of 8-year-old followed years of abuse

Relates to:
Date: 2006-08-28
Source: king5.com

Police: Death of 8-year-old followed years of abuse

09:33 PM PDT on Monday, August 28, 2006
By TRICIA MANNING-SMITH / KING 5 News and KING5.com

A 44-year-old Seabeck woman is accused in the death of her adopted son.

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - A 44-year-old woman has been charged with killing her 8-year-old foster child after years of horrific abuse, including regular beatings and withholding of food.

Kimberly Forder is being held in the Kitsap County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail in the death of Christopher Michael Forder. He was one of seven foster children plus three biological children in the Seabeck home where the Forders' lived. She was charged Monday afternoon with one count of homicide by abuse.

The child died in 2002, but although his body was covered with bruises, the cause was listed as "undetermined" by the Kitsap County medical examiner.

At the time, Forder reportedly told investigators that Christopher Forder had regularly hurt himself because of a "reactive attachment disorder," although that had never been formally diagnosed, and that he had been abused before he was adopted into the family.

The case was reopened earlier this month when one of Forder's children outlined for police the details of the alleged abuse of the child before he died. Two more of Forder's children subsequently confirmed to police some of the details of the Christopher Forder's alleged abuse.

According to a Certificate of Probable Cause filed with the court, a family member told detectives Christopher Forder was forced to spend days outside or in the basement as punishment, without food, water or blankets. The family member said that among other things, he was forced to wear dirty diapers, was forced to clean his soiled clothing in a bucket and if it wasn't done correctly his head was dunked into the bucket. The child was also reportedly often beaten by a wooden stick or belt.

 
Forder and her husband reportedly never took the boy to the hospital before his death.

KING 5 News has learned that a neighbor reportedly tried to help when the boy was severely injured four years ago.

“My husband went over to help,” said neighbor Danita Hughes, but the Forders did not believe in Western style medicine, she said. "It was only home remedy-type stuff.

After Christopher Forder's death, the family then moved to Africa reportedly to help orphan children there.

On an Internet blog entry, the mother recently wrote that she had to return to the states for medical treatment. She was arrested when she returned.

Police are now investigating allegations of abuse against the other 10 Forder children.

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