Hey, the religious crazies are at it again and it’s always the children who suffer when parents believe absurd things. This time, an 11-year old boy was found by police after he ran away from home. Asked why he ran away, the boy told them that he didn’t do his homework and according to his adoptive parents, Jim and Paige Nachtigal, that was a sin and sinning got you beaten.
Investigators went to the home and removed the boy’s two adoptive siblings, two girls aged 11 and 15, the younger of whom showed signs of having been abused. The children were all malnourished and one had a broken leg while the other showed signs of healing broken bones.
Randy Jordan, North Newton Police Chief, said, “In the interview at EMCU she said she was struck with a cane and there was a definitive mark, linear mark on her leg near the fracture. His elbow had been dislocated at some point and it had healed improperly.” X-Rays showed two recent broken fingers on the girl, the boy also had broken ribs and a broken wrist.
Why, you might ask? Because religion, of course. The children were homeschooled and not allowed access to the Internet or the outside world. For breakfast, they were allowed two slices of toast and sometimes a slice of fruit. Investigators found that the children had not gained much weight in their time with the Nachtigals, putting the boy’s BMI at less than one percentile for his age. When asked why they had been beaten, the children all repeatedly said they had sinned.
Initially, they were charged with three counts of child abuse, inflicting cruel and inhumane corporal punishment on a child and held on a $300,000 bail. They have since been charged with additional counts, including seven counts of aggravated battery and two counts of child abuse/torture.
And as usual, neighbors knew nothing about the abuse. According to Bonnie Neufeld, who lived two doors down, “To realize that it happened so close to home, it’s just heartbreaking. And you keep wondering, is there something we could’ve noticed earlier or seen?” That’s because the Nachtigal’s wouldn’t interact with their neighbors, they kept their children in the house and away from prying eyes. People tend to respect religious reasons for avoiding the real world, something that, time and time again, is shown to be a bad idea. The less you see of kids, the more religious the parents are, the more likely it is that they’re being abused.
Luckily, the children are getting the treatment they need, including a serious heart condition that is now being treated for the first time. If this hadn’t happened, it is entirely possible that this story would have had a tragic end. I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t have been at all surprised, this is, after all, Horror Show Sunday.