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SALT LAKE CITY — A five-year-old boy was kept in a dark, cramped basement room with no plumbing for up to 12 hours at a time, police said.

Parents Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, 27, and her husband Brett Parker Tobiasson, 31, were arrested and charged with felony child abuse, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy, who the couple had adopted, would go to the bathroom while locked in the cramped 10 x 10 foot room. Then, he would put the waste in a hole in the wall, so he would not get in trouble for going on the floor, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.


The room was locked from the outside typically from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day, officials said. Loose carpet covered the floor and a mattress and blanket was all he had to sleep with, officials said.

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In addition to the squalid living conditions, officials said the boy’s diet consisted largely of carrots, which he was forced to eat before every meal. He would not be allowed to eat other food if he did not finish the carrots within an allotted time, investigators said. He got in trouble one time for eating a sample at a store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else, according to investigators.

The arrests came after a months-long investigation. Utah Division of Child and Family Services talked to neighbors and the victims. The boy, who is now 6, and his 2-year-old brother, were adopted by the couple. They also had a 2-month old daughter.

The 6-year-old is in the care of a relative. The other two children are in custody of family services.

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