Twin 14-year-old girls, R. and K., were starved, physically abused, and imprisoned by their adoptive parents, Mark and Melissa McGregor. The girls were homeschooled. The McGregors’ eight other biological children who also lived in the home were not reported to be abused.
The girls were adopted from Bulgaria around 2012. The McGregors previously lived in Washington state, where a child abuse investigation was opened. The family moved several times, eventually settling in Missouri and opting to homeschool, allegedly so they could better “supervise” their children. The McGregors were frequent visitors at the library.
The girls were kept locked in a dark room or a sunroom for hours at a time. Their bedroom contained only a spring bed and a tub of ripped clothing for each girl; they were only allowed pillows for good behavior. Most of their meals consisted of raw vegetables; the family’s food was kept locked up, and the girls’ siblings were allowed second helpings while they were not. The girls were hit with spoons or spatulas in front of their siblings. They were required to ask permission in order to “get dressed, read their Bible, wear shoes or take a shower”, and when they were found, R. had not bathed in several weeks. As punishment for their behavior, the girls were forced to “run a gravel road barefoot or stand outside in the cold.”
The abuse came to light when a neighbor noticed R. walking down a nearby road with bloody feet. R. disclosed the abuse and the neighbor called the authorities. R., who had not been to the doctor or dentist for a long time, was found to weigh 92 lbs. and to have pinworm parasites; K. was found to weigh 76 lbs. and to have a distended stomach due to malnutrition. The McGregors were each charged with two counts of felony child abuse and their other children were removed from the home.
Date: July 8, 2019
Location: Summersville, Missouri
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