OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – A couple from Macy, Nebraska was sentenced to federal prison on Friday for multiple counts of intentional child abuse on a foster child.
In September 2018, officers were called to the residence of Charles Neil Parker, 39, and Krista Parker, 36, both of Macy, after receiving a report that a party guest at Parker’s residence observed a child locked in the basement.
According to a recent press release, officers went to the residence and located the then-nine-year-old victim in a locked utility room in the basement.
Officials reported that the room was secured with an eye-hook latch on the outside and had a contact alarm that sounded when the door was opened.
Officers also observed that the utility room the child was locked in had a concrete floor, no windows, and no ventilation.
They also noticed that the child only had two blankets on the floor to sleep on, both of which were soaked with urine. The floors were also soiled with urine and feces.
According to authorities, the officers saw that the child had two “toys” to play with, an empty chip bag, and an empty soda bottle. The walls of the room had stick figures drawn on them, along with tally marks, and the door for the room had scratch marks dug into it by the child.
When officers arrived at the house, they found Krista Parker intoxicated and asleep in another room of the house.
During an interview the following day, Krista Parker first stated that the child must have wandered into the room and gotten locked inside of it by mistake. She then later admitted to locking the child in the room because she wanted to “have one night of fun” after a stressful week at work, according to authorities.
Krista Parker sent her biological children to their grandmother’s house for the night.
Charles Neil Parker could not be located on the night of the report; however, during a subsequent interview, it was admitted that the Parkers locked the child in the room sometimes due to his behavior.
The child, who suffers from cognitive delays and is believed to be on the autism spectrum, reported that he always slept and ate in the locked room and was unable to leave the room to use the bathroom.
The child was identified as a foster child that was placed in the Parkers’ care by the Omaha Tribe Children and Family Services. Krista Parker was employed with Children and Family Services as a case aid at the time.
Judge Rossiter, the judge that oversaw the case, described the Parkers’ treatment of the child as “horrible” and “unforgivable”.
“Today, justice was done for one of the most vulnerable victims – a child placed with a couple who saw an opportunity to make money while containing to exploit a child who was unable to cry out for help,” United States Attorney Joe Kelly stated.
FBI Special Agent in Charge, Kristi Johnson stated that the FBI agents who investigate violent crime in Indian Country are passionate about the tribal communities they serve.
“Once the Omaha Nation Law Enforcement Services responded to the 911 call and arrested Krista Parker on local charges, the FBI immediately started investigating. Their work resulted in federal charges and today’s federal sentences against Parker and her husband,” Johnson added.
Charles Neil Parker and Krista Parker were both sentenced to 72 months’ imprisonment, and both must serve an 18-month term of supervised release following their prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.