Horror parents II: Baby starves as parents live Second Life

Horror parents II: Baby starves as parents live Second Life

They were living the good life in their video game, but in real life, their two year-old daughter was starving to death.

Mark Knapp, 48, and Elizabeth Pester, 33, were arrested early this week and charged with child neglect and abuse after their daughter ended up in hospital in critical condition, Mail Online reported.

Oklahoma newspaper Tulsa World reported that she was rushed to hospital early this week weighing just 5kg. Detective Denielle Bishop, who has been assigned to the case, told local television station News on 6 that the little girl cannot walk or move and has limited vocal skills.

As the little girl was withering away, the couple were living the "high life" in virtual reality.

According to Pester's Facebook profiles, the 33-year-old mother had a blonde, scantily clad avatar alter-ego called DJ Syn in Second Life - a popular online virtual world where users can socialise.

The couple were reportedly so deeply involved in the video game world that Pester scheduled appointments with her daughter's therapist, who was tasked with monitoring the girl's weight, around her fake job as a Second Life DJ.

The woman shared photos from a virtual birthday party and a wedding, accompanied by an all-caps tagline: "The most amazing night a bride could have I wont (sic) trade it for the world."

Knapp and Pester's daughter was born in 2010, and has been in and out of hospitals for failure to thrive. In June last year, the toddler was taken into the custody of the Department of Human Services for being underweight compared to other children in her age group.

She was returned to her parents on the condition that they would take the girl for weekly weigh-ins.

But the toddler was not medically observed or examined since last summer.

The parents left a few hours after the daughter was hospitalised early this week, telling the nurses that they won't be back for a few days.

When police officers arrived at their home to arrest them, the couple were busy playing video games.


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