A Huntington dentist and his pregnant wife have been arrested in Dubois County, Indiana and are facing neglect and confinement charges for trying to be responsible parents in dealing with their eldest adopted daughter who made threats of murdering the family.
Both Alan and Aimee Friz are just the latest in a long line of parents who have come under the scrutiny of the state and are facing the incredibly stressful and even tyrannical measures of the state as it imposes its way into the nucleus of society, the family.
The Dubois County Herald reports:
The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department made contact with the female juvenile in question as well as Alan and Aimee Friz and then requested assistance from the Dubois County Office of Family and Children Services.
The juvenile reportedly told authorities she had been in the house playing with a ball when her grandfather became angry. In court documents, the juvenile reported the ball bounced toward her grandfather, he kept it and the situation intensified.
The grandfather reportedly told authorities the other children were in the living room attending to daily studies when the juvenile bouncing the ball in the kitchen became disruptive, according to court documents.
Court documents indicate Aimee told authorities she and Alan Friz worried about the juvenile’s behavior.
Aimee allegedly told authorities the juvenile had made the comment of killing her (Aimee’s) unborn child and killing her as well, according to court documents.
During a forensic interview conducted with the assistance of the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office, the juvenile alleged she slept in a cage at night and was locked in it with a chain and a combination lock. She reported she was let back out in the morning.
After completing the interview with the juvenile, the sheriff’s department sought and received a search warrant from Dubois Circuit Court.
Troopers with the Indiana State Police were requested to assist deputies with the resulting search.
Authorities say a closet area of a bedroom was found to have been converted into a lockable cage where the juvenile was allegedly kept for extended periods of time.
The 4-by-8 cage is described in court documents as having a mattress and a label on its front door indicating it was the juvenile’s cage. It did not have running water or electricity. The juvenile had reportedly been given a pan so she could use it to go to the bathroom, according to court documents.
When the juvenile’s report of the cage was confirmed, authorities said, Alan Friz was taken into custody.
Notice the use of the term “cage” in this report. It is to make the parents look as diabolical as possible.
However, stop and think about how the state would be dealing with this girl if they actually believed the Frizes. She would be “caged” and not let out of a building. She would be in a small little room and heavily sedated with mind altering drugs. That’s how the state would have handled this girl and yet, they hypocritically go after the parents because the parents sought to love and care for their daught, one that didn’t even come from their own bodies, but from halfway around the world.
There is another side to the story, one that neither the Dubois County Herald nor other media outlet will tell you. However, we’re going to tell you the story and it comes directly from the Friz’s pastor.
Brian M. Abshire, pastor at Covenant Reformed Church, Evansville Indiana wrote a lengthy post and asked that Christians everywhere consider exactly what the Frizes were attempting to accomplish and also to consider the mental state of their adopted daughter and how they were seeking to get her help rather than be negligent or cruel.
Here’s what Mr. Abshire had to say.
Today, a respected and well-loved member of our congregation was arraigned on two felony accounts of neglect of a dependent and criminal confinement. His wife has also been charged. Initially because she is almost nine months pregnant, she was under house arrest. Now, she is in jail as well. Meanwhile, the state has taken custody of their children.
So what great evil did this Christian couple commit against their eldest daughter? Allegedly, the daughter had made repeated threats to murder the family in their sleep. While trying to find professional help, the parents made sure she could not get out of bed at night; apparently by putting her bed in a lockable, walk-in closet. Was this an unreasonable act? Well, context, as they say, is everything.
First, some background and context; when Alan and Amy first married, they did not think that she could have children. Having a lot of love, they chose to go through the enormous red-tape and expense of adopting two children from the Ukraine. Alan is a medical professional, and well understood that such children often need extraordinary amounts of love and care; but that love is what they had in abundance.
Then, in the way of things, Amy got pregnant with their first natural born child; and got pregnant again and again (with twins and triplets)! Eventually, God blessed them with a total of ten children (including the two adopted ones) with number eleven to arrive shortly. At this point, if you want a picture of this family, think, “Sound of Music.” This is a loving home, with a very definite 19th century value system. The kids study at home, have chores on the family farm, lots of pets and animals to love and care for. And just like the Sound of Music, the family puts on plays and musical numbers as a normal part of their family life. OK, the boys are often loud, boisterous and love to roughhouse. However, these children are always respectful to adults and attentive in church. From anyone’s perspective, this is just about as healthy, normal and happy a family as we ever see in modern America.
But there was something dark growing in the background. Alan and Amy began to have concerns about their eldest, adopted daughter. It has been reported that developmentally, she had lagged far behind, even her much younger siblings. As she grew older, she exhibited serious behavioral issues such as constant lying (even when the lie was blatantly false and served no purpose), extreme aggressiveness towards her siblings, and, here is where it gets chilling, killing small animals. At first, Alan and Amy hoped this was a product of her developmental issues; that she literally did not know what she was doing when she “gave a bath” to the family pet snake by dropping it into scalding water. But things got even worse.
She began running away, going from house to house saying she was homeless and wanted a job. She threatened her male siblings that if they did not do what she wanted, she would accuse them of touching her inappropriately. She cheerfully talked of dreams of taking a knife and killing her mother and the baby inside of her.
Alan and Amy were rightly concerned and as I understand it, were seeking professional counsel on how to deal with her. This was not normal, adolescence angst or teenage rebellion. Apparently, the young girl was showing signs of sociopathy; of not having a conscience and was willing to inflict harm on others, just for the fun of it.
While pastoral confidentiality must govern much of the details, I can say that Alan and Amy’s real fear of the harm this girl might do, was compounded by concern for the damage that she could do to the family, if Social Services believed her multiple false accusations. Apparently, she has made sexual accusations against every male she has come into contact with, even when those accusations were clearly impossible. The parents were trying to find some residential facility that the girl could attend; a place where her behavior could be contained, and where she would not be able to harm herself and others. As I understand it, when they described her symptoms to various institutions, nobody wanted the responsibility of dealing with a potentially dangerous young woman.
So, on the day that he was arrested, Alan told me that he locked her in at night so that she could not carry out her threats to kill them. As far as I know, the young woman was not confined apart from at night. She was free during the day, did whatever home school she could, or the few chores around the house that she was capable of. Now she did have to be closely supervised lest she harm her siblings, but fully participated in all family activities. There was literally, nothing different about her life, than any other member of the family. But since, she had repeatedly threatened the most horrific sorts of violence, Alan and Amy thought keeping her confined at night was the best way to deal with the danger, until they could find her a more permanent solution. Think of it this way, if the family had a home where each of the children could have their own room, what would be the ethics of locking a child, in their room, at night?
Things came to a head, early in the first week of October. First, the girl ran off again. Then, after the police brought her home, she assaulted her physically handicapped Grandpa, punching him the face and kicking him in the groin. This was not a normal, hormonal teenager acting out of frustration or anger; this was a determined attack, intending to inflict serious bodily harm. Alan’s fear for the welfare of his family, overcame his fear of what the State often does to Christian homeschooling families. He talked to the police and they brought him and the daughter in for questioning. Within a short amount of time, the police got a judge to issue a search warrant where they found the girl’s bed. Arrests, charges and taking custody of the rest of the children followed.
As a medical professional who runs his own business in a small community, Alan is not only facing the loss of his freedom, but complete financial disaster. His children are now in the care of Social Services. And surely, I am not the only one to see the irony of the State putting a man behind bars, because he tried to restrain his eldest daughter from hurting others.
This family needs the prayers and support of the broader Christian community. They took an orphaned child into their home, motivated by nothing but love and compassion. That child, probably due to early trauma experienced in the orphanage where she spent the first part of her life, may well have severe brain dysfunction that cause erratic and dangerous behavior. When she was young and weak, she could not do much damage. But as she grew older, stronger and cannier, apparently she has learned how to use lies to manipulate others, and even if unintentionally, destroy the lives of those who love her the most. We can all legitimately sympathize with and pity a child whose brain does not function properly; who does not perceive reality normally, who probably does not really understand the damage she is doing to others. But that does not change the fact that she is a danger to herself and others; a danger her father tried to mitigate until they could find her the help she needed.
So now Alan and Amy are on trial for trying to be responsible, loving parents. Even if they are acquitted of all charges, the legal fees, the loss of his business, and the trauma caused to their other children by having been removed from their home and farmed out to strangers, will change this family forever. Every Christian pastor ought to be preaching about this issue. Every Christian home-schooler ought to spread the word to their friends, families and coop members and ask for prayer. Every Christian, regardless of denomination, theology or even whether they home-school ought to be concerned about what happened to this family, because it can happen to yours.
It’s clear that the girl was treated like any other member of the family even though she was disruptive, murderous in her threats and even violent on occasion. Yet, what did the parents do? They weren’t negligent. They sought to protect the rest of the family by simply locking her door at night. She had a bed, she was able to go to the bathroom and if she needed anything during the night, no doubt, the Frizes would have aided her in that as every morning the door was unlocked and she was fed and cared for.
Still, the state thinks it is their responsibility to intervene in this matter and go so far as to make ridiculous charges against the parents that loved this girl enough to adopt her and give her a good home and even continue to care for her though she issued threats of murder, including Mrs. Fritz’s unborn child.
Obviously, that does not bother authorities in Indiana.
Mr. Abshire is correct on one thing though, he’s not the only one to see the irony of the State putting a man behind bars, because he tried to restrain his eldest daughter from hurting others.
My wife and I have been the victims of trumped up charges by Child Protective Services in our county as well. Although it did not result in jail, the threats we received along with the incompetence and constant badgering from CPS was enough to make a person lose their mind.
If you are a Christian out there, I encourage you to pray for the family, including the eldest daughter who has serious mental issues, and we know that stems from sin. Let’s pray that the Gospel might break through and free her from the lies she is bound by and at the same time, the God would intervene for the Fritzes and their other children who are at greater risk of danger in Child Protective Services than they ever were in their own home.