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Carnation girl describes locked room, little water

Since being taken out of the Carnation home where she was allegedly kept under lock and key and given little water a day, a 14-year-old Carnation girl is gaining weight.

When sheriff’s deputies found the 14-year-old daughter of Jon Pomeroy and stepdaughter of Rebecca Long of Carnation, she weighed only 48 pounds and looked like an 8-year-old, court papers stated.

After law enforcement officers responded in August to a call from Child Protective Services, spurred by a complaint from a neighbor about screaming coming from a home, they spoke to the skinny, pale child on the porch.

The girl told deputies that her stepmother believes she has a behavior problem, and restricts her water to about half a small Dixie cup a day, to discipline her. She hadn’t seen a doctor for several years. The girl said that her stepmother supervises her when she goes to the bathroom or showers to keep her from sneaking any water. Her stepmother, she said, would sleep in the room with her and push a heavy dresser in front of the door to keep her from sneaking out and getting water. The girl also described incidents in which her stepmother locked her in her room and being duct-taped and dunked in the toilet.

Court documents state that doctors found that all of her teeth were eroded and chipped, and all had to be extracted or crowned. The teen said she broke a tooth recently when biting into a piece of celery. Doctors said that the erosion may have been caused by the girl’s salivary glands shutting down due to extreme dehydration.

Doctor’s reports said the girl had not gained any weight since age 9.

According to charging papers, Long told detectives that she used water restriction on the girl as a form of discipline, and said the girl does not get along with her because of a power struggle between them. Long said she put heavy furniture in front of the bathroom door to keep the girl from running away. She said she had not taken the girl or her brother to the doctor in years because they do not get sick.

Pomeroy told deputies that his daughter has behavior problems, and admitted that he thought it odd that his 14-year-old daughter looks like she is 8 years old, but had never sought treatment for her.

When officers searched the home, they found a double-key deadbolt on the girl’s room, and saw what appeared to be rodent droppings on her clothing.

They also found documentation that Pomeroy had medical insurance and that the girl’s younger brother had been seen by a physician in the past few years. They also found that the family dogs had recent trips to the vet.

After the deputy’s visit, on Aug. 13, the girl was taken to Children’s Medical Center. In her short stay at the hospital, she began to put on weight. Since being removed from the home, she has gained over 20 pounds, and her foster father told deputies that she is attending a private school and making friends.

Both parents were investigated by CPS in 2005, when the girl admitted that she had been locked in her room for extended periods of time. Long admitted to locking the girl up, and the investigation resulted in a conclusion that the allegations were founded. However, the case was not referred for prosecution.

Pomeroy and Long are expected to answer charges at an arraignment set for Monday, Oct. 27, in King County Superior Court.

The couple was released on $20,000 bail. King County prosecutors originally asked for $400,000 bail for Long and $150,000 for Pomeroy. However, a judge chose to release them on personal recognizance.

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