Eagle Mountain parents arrested for child abuse

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Trisha Kellogg never imagined her child would end up in an abusive home.

But authorities claimed he was the victim of abusive parents.  The six-year old was adopted by Brett and Clarissa Tobiasson of Eagle Mountain.  They were arrested Thursday for child abuse.

“I believed in my heart that my boys were okay, they’re together and they’re in a loving home but that was completely the opposite,” said Trisha Kellogg, the boys’ biological mother.  “My worse nightmare just came true.”

About two weeks ago, detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s office were notified by the social workers with the Division of Child and Family Services. 

“Some witnesses in the home saw things in the home that they were doing with this child that seemed unusual to them,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the sheriff’s office.

According to a probable cause statement  the witness stayed with the Tobiasson’s last fall and called it “the worse 4 days of her life.”   The witness said the six year old was kept locked in an unfinished basement room with no light and no heat.

“The child was locked inside a room in the basement at 6 or 7 at night and was not let out until the next morning even for a bathroom break,” the witness told investigators.  “During the time in the room he was not given anything to eat or drink.”

The witness also told authorities the six year old (who was 5 at the time) had an “orangy tint” to his skin.

“He was required to eat some carrots before every meal,” said Sgt. Cannon.  “He had a time limit in which to eat those carrots and if he didn’t eat those carrots within that time he would not be given the rest of the meal.”

According to the probable cause statement the witness asked Clarissa Tobiasson why carrots and was told “because he does not like them.”

At one time, the family had pizza, but according to police the six year old was not allowed to eat pizza until he finished his carrots.  He failed to eat his carrots and was told he could have pizza the next day.  But police said the boy wet his pants and his father refused to give him pizza.

“He would go to the bathroom in that room because of that he would be afraid he would get into trouble with his parents so he would take the waste and put it in a hole in the wall to try and hide it,” said Sgt. Cannon.

Authorities said the boy wasn’t malnourished nor physically abused but emotionally tortured.  The six year old and his two year old brother live there along with the Tobiasson’s own daughter.  The boys’ biological mother lost custody of them and is now horrified to learn what’s happened to them.

“My breath was taken, my heart broke,” said Kellogg.  “I am livid and angry that DCFS (Division of Child and Family Services) took them from me and placed them into the home where they were at.”

Kellogg still has custody of an eight year old son.  She said she will attempt to regain her rights to her two children because of this.

“They need to come home,” said said. “I am ready, prepared to fight to the fullest.  I need help from an attorney.”

Sgt. Cannon said the two brothers are now in state’s custody and the Tobiasson’s daughter is with her grandmother.

According to the probable cause statement, the witness was at the Tobiasson’s home last fall. When it was reported to DCFS remained unclear.  Sgt. Cannon said the arrests came after several months of investigation by DCFS.  He said police were notified about two weeks ago.  It’s unknown what DCFS’s involvement was.  A spokesperson for the agency said their policy is to adhere to the child’s privacy and would not comment about their investigation.

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