I am utterly disturbed and disgusted by the concentration-camp-like details that surfaced out of Carnation earlier this week.
I do not believe in capital punishment, but right now I am thinking that the electric chair might be the best place for Rebecca Long, a 44-year-old Carnation woman who allegedly starved and tortured her 14-year-old stepdaughter.
The girl was 4-foot-7 and weighed only 48 pounds. She was locked in her room with double deadbolts and her room was littered with rodent droppings. Her daily diet consisted of a piece of toast and a half Dixie Cup of water. She was so thirsty, she would suck condensation from the windows or sneak a drink from the toilet. One time she got caught drinking out of the toilet. So her stepmother duct-taped her hands behind her and stuffed her head in the toilet.
With no food or water, her teeth were rotting. Showers were allowed but one or twice a month. The girls hadn’t been to school or a doctor in the last several years.
The lead detective on the case, a 16-year veteran, said this was the worst case he had ever seen.
This case is unfortunate, alarming and quite concerning on many levels.
First off, what were the parents thinking? Especially the dad, Jon Pomeroy, a 43-year-old software engineer who turned a blind eye to his wife brutally torturing and starving his own daughter. The little girl’s brother and the two family dogs were being treated better.
According to court documents, the girl was being disciplined by her stepmother for bad behavior.
I understand some children need more discipline than others, but this is absolutely mind-boggling. What good comes out of torturing and starving your child? All that does is instill more fear and hatred into a young, impressionable mind. Besides the physical harm, can you imagine the psychological effects this had on that poor little girl?
If justice is served, these parents will be put away for the rest of their lives. They need to see how it feels to be locked away, isolated and treated like an unwanted rodent.
Another concern is that Child Protective Services knew about this case three years ago. In 2005, they found the girl to be very thin and she was being deprived of food, yet the case was closed. CPS claims that the mother received counseling, the kids were left in the home and the case was closed.
And then you throw in major budget cuts to the King County Sheriff’s Department, the policing agency in unincorporated King County where this hideous crime took place — and the concerns continue to stack up.
The good news is that the girl is now in a foster home, gaining weight, going to school and making new friends.
Unfortunately, there’s no doubt her horrific past will haunt her.
Hopefully, she can be given the unconditional love and compassion she deserved in the first place.
No child should have to see life through the darkness of a double deadbolt and be deprived of basic freedoms, like water, food — and love.