Five children–a girl b. 2007, a boy b. 2008, two children b. 2009 and 2011, and a boy b. 2012–were starved, imprisoned, tortured, and medically neglected by their parents, Yenier and Sarah Conde (pictured). Yenier also abused Sarah. The children were homeschooled.
Sarah Conde ran an American Kennel Club breeding program in the home. The oldest boy was diagnosed with neuroblastoma as a baby. The family first came to the attention of child services in April 2009 when someone reported the home was filthy and detrimental to the boy’s health. The boy completed cancer treatment in 2011 and child services investigated the family again in 2012 because the boy had missed multiple follow-up appointments. CPS investigated again four months later when the boy was sent to school without a clean diaper. The boy’s cancer treatment caused him to need diapers, a leg brace, and specialized shoes, but “Sarah Conde requested the school remove him from special education programs and physical therapy treatments.” A reporter with the Lansing State Journal confirmed by email that the children attended school at one point, but were removed to be homeschooled by Sarah Conde. CPS investigated the family at least 12 times between 2009 and 2017.
According to officials, the abuse began in earnest in 2011. The children were imprisoned in a “dungeon” for days at a time and forced to relieve themselves in the closet or in diapers. They were deprived of food and water and beaten with a belt if they tried to escape. “One boy reported that he had been beaten with a piece of wood with nails in it. One of the girls had a scar on her butt from a spanking.” Sarah Conde threatened to shoot the children with a gun after they flooded a bathroom with water. When they were rescued, three of the children had gone so long without dental care that their teeth were rotting and needed to be extracted. Several of the children were also diagnosed with mental illnesses due to trauma.
The abuse came to light after Yenier Conde filed for divorce in April 2017. Sarah Conde responded with an order of protection against her husband and each accused the other of child abuse. The children were interviewed in May 2017 and removed from the home in June 2017. Both of the Condes were charged with 10 counts of child abuse, unlawful imprisonment, and other charges.
Date: May 2017
Location: Lansing, Michigan