David and Jan Carpenter of Little River get jail, probation for child neglect

Date: 2011-07-14

Doctors: Adopted daughter lost weight, had blood pooling on brain

By Paul Srubas

OCONTO — A Little River couple that adopted a Guatemalan toddler in 2008 will spend five years on probation and 14 days in jail for neglecting the girl to the point of causing bodily harm.

David Carpenter, 61, and Jan Carpenter, 55, a registered nurse since 1993, also must undergo mental health assessment and follow up and must have no contact with the girl or another adopted child, Oconto County Judge Michael Judge ordered Wednesday.

The couple took the girl, then 3, to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette on Oct. 15, 2009. The child was transferred to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where a physician was alarmed enough about her condition to describe her as looking "like a concentration camp survivor," according to the criminal complaint.

The child had lost more than 2 pounds in the 11 months since her adoption, had signs of pooling blood on her brain and was having seizures, the complaint said. The parents made no attempt to get her medical attention until her breathing was confined to four breaths per minute and she was unresponsive, the complaint said.

The doctor found signs of severe malnutrition, failure to thrive based on that poor nutrition and pooled blood on the brain, for which he could find no explanation, the complaint said.

Jan Carpenter told an Oconto County Sheriff's Department investigator she didn't have the girl treated earlier because she was afraid she would be turned in, the complaint said.

Judge said the 14-day jail sentence corresponded to the number of days the child was hospitalized.

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