Florida children’s book author, husband accused of abusing 3 adopted kids
NY Daily News
A children’s book author and her husband have been charged with abusing their three adopted children and keeping them prisoner at their home in Florida.
According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Jennifer Wolfthal and Joseph Wolfthal, an engineer for Lockheed Martin, allegedly physically abused the children, all under the age of 12, to the extent that one was hospitalized. Both have been charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect with great bodily harm and false imprisonment charges, according to WFTV 9.
Jennifer Wolfthal was arrested on New Year’s Day shortly after her husband arrived at the hospital with one of the children suffering from sepsis, a staph infection, renal and liver failure, pneumonia in both lungs and malnourishment. The child also reportedly had bruises, open wounds and skin infections.
The couple allegedly locked the children in their rooms for days or weeks at a time with little food and in unhygienic conditions at the home in Casselberry, just north of Orlando. One of the children, a girl, told deputies she had not interacted with her siblings or other adults for years and that the Wolfthals would pour cold water on her every night.
Deputies said the doors on the children’s bedrooms locked from the outside.
Jennifer Wolfthal remains in jail without bond. A judge set bond for Joseph Wolfthal on Tuesday. According to recent divorce filings, Joseph Wolfthal is seeking sole custody of the children, who the couple adopted from a private agency in 2014.
According to WFTV, Clavis, the company that published one of Jennifer Wolfthal’s books, said it was cutting all ties with the woman.
“We were made aware of horrific news regarding one-time, Clavis’ author Jennifer Wolfthal’s arrest and strongly condemn child abuse, abandonment and neglect, today and always,” the publisher said in a statement. “We will do what’s within our power to cease commercialization of her book further.”
One of the children remains in the hospital