Allegedly, the father and stepmother of Calista Springer told law enforcement agents they recently started tying Calista down with zip ties around her waist and chains connected to a bolt on the side of her bed. Their intention was to prevent her from leaving the house in the middle of the night. Calista was found dead lying on her back chained to her bed in their burning home. The parents claimed the alarm used to alert them that she was up had recently broken. Investigators found the alarm was in working order and speculate the parents were tired of the alarm going off. According to this news story the Department of Human Services had prior contact with this family and warned them not to tether her in case of fire.
It is unclear why this family situation was allowed to continue. If the parents needed assistance with supervision of their child where was the plan of care from the Department of Human Services? Why were the parents using inappropriate restraint in this case? Which family members and friends knew this type of restraint was being used? Who was advocating for this troubled child? If this child was emotionally impaired, who was managing her psychiatric needs? Was this a case of arson? There are many unanswered questions.
The Keane Law Firm urges people in the community to remember their duty to report child maltreatment, intentional or unintentional. Families with children that have special needs need support and resources to successfully manage activities of daily living. Please reach out and help that child and help the families that struggle to cope. You will save a life.