Parents Accused of Extreme Neglect of Young Children in Danielson

The parents of 3-, 5- and 6-year-old children are accused of extreme neglect after the children were found malnourished, dehydrated, in diapers and unable to speak, according to Connecticut state police.

Police have arrested 32-year-old Donna Rodeheffer, and said the child’s father, 24-year-old Nicolas Emory, is being held in Arizona on child pornography charges, but similar charges will be filed against him when he is brought back to Connecticut.

State police started investigating the case on July 21 when the state Department of Children and Families reported Rodeheffer and Nicolas Emory were suspected of neglecting the three children in Danielson.

The 6-year-old boy weighs about 35 pounds, which is the average weight for a 4-year-old child, according to police, who said he had a thick, yellow, dry scalp; cracked and scabbing lips; and a rotting gum line. Police also said his speech was clearly delayed, as are his basic life functions.

The 5-year-old weighed 26 pounds and also had a thick, yellow, dry scalp and overgrown fingernails and toenails, according to arrest documents.

When detectives spoke with family members, they learned the children left their Danielson home up to three times a year and had never been enrolled in school, police said.

Police also said the children did not have regular check-ups with a pediatrician or dentist.

The children were not potty trained, drink diet soda and eat "junk" food alone in their beds, and stay up sometimes until about 3 a.m., according to arrest documents.

Police applied for arrest warrants and Rodeheffer, 33, now of Webster, Massachusetts, and she turned herself in to police today. She has been charged with three counts of negligent cruelty to persons and three counts of risk of injury to a minor.

She was held on $150,000 bond and appeared in court.

Emory is being held in Arizona as a fugitive from justice on a child pornography charge from Connecticut and state police said he will be charged in that case, as well as this one, when he is brought back to Connecticut.

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