Michaela and Caleb Parker
The Parkers were fundamentalist naturopaths who practiced homebirths and shunned vaccines and medical checkups. The children were fed a vegan diet and the Parkers set time limits for the children’s food consumption, fearing obesity. When their daughter Aaliyah (called Lily, pictured) died at age 3 in 2001 after a series of seizures, police found the death suspicious but declined to prosecute when the Parkers explained that epilepsy ran in the family.
The abuse came to light in 2005 when Zion began to have severe seizures and Kimu took her to the emergency room. When doctors saw her emaciated state, they insisted on examining the other two children and deemed them all malnourished. The children were removed to a foster home where they quickly gained weight despite maintaining their vegan diet—they merely increased their portion size. Both Parkers were convicted on three counts of child abuse. Kimu was sentenced to 30 years in prison and Blair was sentenced to 15.
Date: April 23, 2005
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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