Nora* (b. 2010) was starved and tortured by her father, Jason Carroll, and her stepmother Jacqueline Barbour. The household also included Nora’s stepbrother and her half-brother. Nora was homeschooled.
Barbour and Carroll isolated Nora from family members; Carroll’s mother R. last saw Nora in person in August 2016. Carroll and Barbour claimed that Nora had “behavioral issues” beginning in February 2017, admitting her to a psychiatric hospital at least four times and obtaining a Valium prescription for her; however, authorities believe that Nora was a victim of medical child abuse and was forced to receive unnecessary care. In 2018, Barbour and Carroll asked Nora’s school to prevent her from purchasing lunch so that they could control her behavior. It is unclear exactly when Nora was withdrawn from school to be homeschooled. Nora reported that Barbour threw her into the snow in her underwear, forced her to do jumping jacks, and threw her into a fan when she was unable to continue. Nora also reported that her brother punched her and that Barbour “preferred” Nora’s brother. Nora was given very little to drink and only received bread and peanut butter for dinner “if she was behaving.” Nora was repeatedly punished by being confined to a clear plastic bucket or tote during the day, and she was forced to sleep there at night, curled in a fetal position. Carroll told R. that Nora was being confined to a bucket, but R. did not see the bin or understand its small size; R. told police “Looking back at all of this, I wish I would have seen the signs a little more clear, but at the time I could not have imagined anything like this would ever happen.” When Nora was rescued, she had injuries to the skin on her lower legs and an enlarged liver consistent with chronic severe malnutrition; she gained 14 lbs. in eight days.
The abuse came to light in January 2020 when Carroll brought Nora to the hospital, claiming that she had mental health issues. Staff noticed her condition and reported the abuse to the authorities. After being placed in a foster home, Nora ate voraciously, did well after being re-enrolled in public school, and did not display the reported behavioral issues. Barbour and Carroll were charged with child cruelty and endangering a minor.
*Nora is a pseudonym.
Date: January 2020
Location: Pomfret, Connecticut
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