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Police: Eagle Mountain pair would lock boy in basement overnight

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A mother and father arrested Thursday are accused of locking their adopted son in a windowless basement room overnight, where he went to the bathroom and shelved his waste in a hole in the wall.

Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, 27, and Brett Parker Tobiasson, 31, of Eagle Mountain, were booked into Utah County Jail Thursday for investigation of child abuse, a second-degree felony. Bail was set at $10,000.

The 6-year-old boy is staying with his grandmother, the Utah County Sheriff's Office said in a prepared statement.

The arrests followed a monthslong investigation by Utah Division of Child and Family Services, which interviewed witnesses and the boy.

The boy would be sent to the 10-by-10-foot room about 6 or 7 p.m. and would be let out after 6 in the morning, according to the statement. The room was locked from the outside and had no light, but did have a mattress and a blanket for sleeping, the sheriff's office said.

"The boy described that he would go to the bathroom while in the room," the office continued, "and put the waste in a hole in a wall so he would not get in trouble."

Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said he did not know exactly how long the parents had their son sleep in the basement.

"It's been at least several months," he said.

Cannon said the father didn't want to talk to police. The mother expressed she didn't know it was against the law to lock a child in a room, he said.

The couple also is accused of feeding the boy a diet that consisted largely of carrots and did not allow him to eat the rest of his meal if he didn't finish them in a certain time frame.

The sheriff's office said he once "was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else."

The boy has a 2-year-old brother who also was adopted, and a 2-month-old. The other children are in DCFS custody, according to the statement.