Invisible Children

7 Children of Kenneth and Kelly Fry

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

An 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were imprisoned, starved, and abused by their adoptive parents, Kenny and Kelly Fry (pictured). They were homeschooled. They were treated differently from the Frys’ five biological children, who were not reported to be abused.

The Frys were respected members of their community; “Kenny is the younger brother of Iowa State Rep. Joel Fry…and Kelly was a ‘standout pitcher’ for Simpson College in the 1990s.” The abused children were adopted from Ghana a few years prior to the discovery of the abuse. The Frys imprisoned the children in bare, plastic-covered rooms with alarms on the doors and only a bucket for a toilet. The children were fed only oatmeal, and when they were rescued they had several signs of malnutrition, including distended abdomens and poorly-healing wounds. “One of the children gained 8 pounds in three weeks after being removed” from the home. The children were also punished with forced exercise. The Frys claimed they imprisoned the children to punish them for bad behavior and to prevent them from “stealing” food; however, since being removed from the home they have not demonstrated these behaviors. The Frys’ other children had normal bedrooms and no food restrictions.

The abuse came to light when the children escaped and ran crying to a neighbor’s house; the neighbor reported the incident to authorities. The Frys were charged with neglect and child endangerment. Many neighbors reported they had not known the Frys had any adopted children.

Date: January 30, 2018
Osceola, Iowa


Documents: Date:
Neighbors Unaware of Alleged Abuse in Osceola Home 06-25-2018
Iowa couple accused of feeding adopted kids only oatmeal, confining them to plastic-lined rooms 06-25-2018
Iowa couple charged with neglecting 2 adopted children 06-25-2018
Respected Osceola couple charged with neglect and endangerment 06-26-2018
Biological kids had ‘typical’ room. Adopted ones were locked in plastic-lined room, Iowa cops say 06-26-2018