Woman who reported Osceola couple’s alleged child endangerment speaks out

Published: Jun. 27, 2018 at 6:26 AM CDT
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An Osceola couple accused of depriving their two adopted children of food and access to the bathroom is out of jail on bond.

Kenneth and Kelly Fry are charged with child endangerment. Court documents said the couple’s adopted children from Ghana, ages 8 and 9, were malnourished when police found them.

On Tuesday, the woman who reported the Frys to police spoke to KCCI.

She asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation since Kenneth and Kelly Fry are well known in the community.

The woman said she called police after seeing the adoptive children locked outside the Frys’ home on a cold January day.

“They were knocking on the door,” the woman told KCCI in a phone interview. “It sounded like they were crying, ‘let me in.’ I can't say exactly what they were saying, but I could hear crying out.”

According to the woman, it was 15 degrees that day and the children were locked outside for at least 45 minutes.

“I just thought, ‘Something is not right,’ she said. “Just knowing it was so cold outside and those poor kids were locked out.”

The woman’s call to police spurred the Iowa Department of Human Services to get involved.

During their investigation, authorities found that the adoptive children's room contained no furniture and was lined with plastic. Court documents said that buckets were used for toilets and alarms were placed on the doors.

The children told investigators that they were only allowed to eat oatmeal for every meal.

“I am glad I called that day,” the woman said. “I know over the years (the Frys) had the adoptive kids. I just thought it was different how they treated them compared to their own.”

The two children are now thriving in the care of other relatives, according to authorities.

Sadly, that wasn't the case for West Des Moines teen Natalie Finn or Perry teen Sabrina Ray, who both died after being starved and abused by their adopted parents.

“I am just glad it didn't go that way (and) that these children have a chance to find out what America is all about,” the woman said. “It sounds like they came straight from another country and then had to live in probably the same hell they were living in before.”

The woman said she hopes that speaking out will encourage other people to call police if they see something that just does not feel right.

She encourages others not to be afraid to call authorities because a child's life could depend on it.

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