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'Christian' family accused of killing their child

Kimberly Forder was a stay-at-home mom and her husband Robert was a painter. The Forders had the reputation of a “happy, religious family that moved to Africa to pursue Christian missionary work.” They home-schooled their eight adopted children.

There was something else going on in that home, and it was straight out of hell — the Forder’s eight-year-old child Christopher, ended up dead on the bedroom floor. This sadly familiar tale of the publicly pious Christian one-man, one-woman headed family gone horribly wrong comes to us from the Kitsap Sun in Washington State. Blender Gary said the press conference was held two blocks from his house.

As 8-year-old Christopher Forder lay on his bedroom floor, stricken with pneumonia, heavily bruised and nearing death, his father called a family meeting.

Inside the family’s Seabeck-area home, the father, Robert, told his seven children they had a choice: They could bury their brother in the backyard, or call 911 and risk having the state snatch all of the children away because of Christopher’s obvious bruising.

The account of Christopher’s last moments is contained in court documents alleging that his mother, 44-year-old Kimberly Forder, abused and neglected her son to the point of death, never seeking outside medical help as his pneumonia grew worse.

This wasn’t a  one-time event. The court records show a pattern of abuse, hidden from authorities. Both parents say they are innocent of the charges, claiming the boy had bruising from undiagnosed reactive detachment disorder — basically they are saying the kid scratched and picked at his skin, and hurt himself by throwings his body against walls. Of course that doesn’t explain why the child died from pneumonia. It also doesn’t explain this:

One child told detectives that Christopher was beaten an average of six times a day. It was alleged Kimberly Forder was the primary disciplinarian.

If he didn’t chew his food correctly, his mother would take away his food, sometimes for days at a time, documents allege. The boy resorted to stealing scraps from a compost heap, and eating dog food.

If the boy soiled himself, he was forced to wear the dirty diaper, sometimes on his head. If he didn’t wash his clothes correctly in a 5-gallon bucket, his parents were accused of dunking his head in the dirty water “until he stopped struggling,” court documents said.


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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding