Boy adopted by Timothy and Karen Sue Tolin

A 19-year-old boy, one of 13 children adopted by Timothy and Karen Sue Tolin, was found locked in a caged bed covered in urine and feces.

Court records indicate that the Department of Human Services has a history of involvement with the Tolin family.

In 2010, the Huron County Intermediate School District and Ubly Community Schools petitioned Huron County Circuit Court Family Division regarding a charge the Tolins educationally abused and neglected seven minor children. A hearing was canceled after the Home School Legal Defense Association got involved.

One of the children adopted by the Tolins was placed with Tom and Debra Schmitz.

Karen Sue Tolin on her now defunct website admits to being a long time sufferer of Anxiety and Depression.

Date: 2014-10-20
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes


Ruth, Michigan
United States
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DocumentDatesort icon
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Various texts from Karen Sue Tolin's website

Couple accused of caging autistic son, 19, make plea deal

Couple accused of caging autistic son, 19, make plea deal

BAD AXE, Mich. — A couple accused of keeping their 19-year-old adopted son in a cage at their home in rural eastern Michigan made a plea deal Thursday and face sentencing in March.

Karen and Timothy Tolin each pleaded no contest to a charge of unlawful imprisonment in Huron County District Court, county Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of vulnerable adult abuse against each of them.

The pleas came one day before Karen Tolin, 65, and Timothy Tolin, 66, were scheduled to go before a judge for a hearing on whether there was enough evidence to send them to trial. They face sentencing March 9 and remain free on bonds of $5,000 each.

The unlawful imprisonment charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

"It's a sad circumstance all around," Rutkowski said. "He's in a situation where he should have been cared for."

Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson has said a deputy answering a civil dispute call Oct. 20 found the 19-year-old in a bedroom at the home in Paris Township, about 90 miles north of Detroit.

Authorities removed three adults and two children from the home, which the state says was not a licensed care facility.

The 19-year-old is now living in a group home elsewhere in the county and attending school.

Karen Sue and Tim Tolin

Somehow, this situation does not surprise me. My family has known the Tolins for over forty years. They lived across the street from my childhood home. They learned to "game" the system very early. Tim quit his job as a licensed automotive mechanic for a car dealership when they learned that they could have a much better lifestyle on the welfare system. Tim received computer training at taxpayer expense and proceeded to work in "under the table" jobs to supplement their welfare benefits. Their children always had the latest fashions, designer clothing and hottest toys furnished primarily through charitable organizations. They used to brag about all the stuff their kids would get from organizations all over town. They discovered the "benefits" of fostering special needs kids in the mid-seventies.

This is not sour grapes on my part. The Tolins offered to help both my sister and myself receive welfare benefits and we both refused. Neither of us ever had any desire to sponge off the system.

I too have known this family

I too have known this family for over forty years. I do know for fact that Tim quit his job as a mechanic to pursue his new computer programmer job. Which he obtained that degree by going to night school while working as a mechanic. He did not receive to computer training at the tax payers expense. He obtained student loans for the training as you put it. Nor did he work under the table jobs. The Tolin's did not like needing assistance from the state. Their children never had the latest fashions, designer clothing or hottest toys. They did foster care in the mid seventies. However it was not special needs children.

I would like to know where you got your information/facts as I have found alot of untruths in your comment.


Apparently you didn't know them well because the lady with the sister has the whole thing correct.


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