The parents of a 12-year-old girl who was left to die of diabetes were arrested Thursday for not providing the necessary medical care.
Travis Rossiter, 39, and Wenona Rossiter, 37, of Albany, Ore., allegedly refused to seek treatment for their daughter, Syble’s, Type I diabetes, which is chronic, but treatable. Syble died at their home Feb. 5, and the parents allegedly eschewed medical knowledge for faith-based healing, as per their church’s policy.
“The 12-year-old had a treatable medical condition and the parents did not provide adequate and necessary medical care to that child. And that, unfortunately, resulted in the death of her on February 5 of this year,” said Albany Police Capt. Eric Carter, who told KOIN the girl would have survived her illness had she been treated.
The couple belongs to Church of the First Born, which tells parishioners on its website, “If any be sick, call for the elders of the church. Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord.”
The Rossiters, who have two other children, are being held in the Linn County Jail and each face charges of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter.
In 2012, an Oregon City couple — who also belongs to the Church of the First Born — was sentenced to five months probation after pleading guilty to negligent homicide after their son died of an infection caused by a burst appendix.
Similarly, Wisconsin couple Dale and Leilani Neumann watched their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara, die in their home of untreated childhood diabetes. They never brought her to a doctor and instead relied on the power of prayer.
In early July, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirmed their homicide charges after refusing to exonerate the Neumanns under a state law that protects people who favor spiritual treatment over modern medicine from being charged with child abuse.