A 5-year-old girl was imprisoned, starved, and physically abused by her parents, Ryan Rechtzigel and Angela Stewart. The girl was homeschooled. The girl’s siblings, ages 2 and 7 months, were not reported to be abused.
The girl had been removed from her parents’ home when she was 6 months old due to their methamphetamine use. She was returned to their custody in April 2016. In October 2016, Stewart withdrew her from school stating that she would homeschool her. The girl was kept in an unheated boarded-up room and deprived of food. Her parents beat her, smeared her with feces, and forced her to do squats with a heavy bin on her head. When she was rescued, she had a broken elbow and “cuts, scrapes, burn marks and missing hair.”
The abuse came to light in November 2016 when Rechtzigel’s parole officer could not find him to question him about a parole violation. The police had also received a tip from a family friend concerned that the girl had not attended her parents’ wedding, so authorities went to the home and found the girl locked up. Rechtzigel and Stewart were charged with a combined 12 felonies including child neglect, false imprisonment, and attempted manslaughter.
Date: November 18, 2016
Location: Ostrander, Minnesota
|Police: Child Found Locked Up, Bruised; Fillmore County Couple Charged||11-23-2016|
|Ostrander couple charged with child abuse||11-25-2016|
|Charges: Parents beat, imprisoned 5-year-old||12-22-2016|