EL PASO, Colo. – An 11-year-old boy is dead after officials said his father and stepmother forced him to drink 64 ounces of water daily because of bedwetting.
Court documents allege Zachary Sabin was in trouble with Ryan Sabin and Tara Sabin for not drinking enough. He was told to drink more and eventually died from forced water intoxication, according to the El Paso Coroner, KXRM reported.
Tara Sabin said her stepson had a hereditary urological condition that made him wet the bed. When the urine was dark, she said she and her husband told Zachary to drink 64 ounces of water per day. Before Zachary’s death, Tara Sabin said her stepson was sipping water and throwing it up, The Gazette in El Paso, Colorado, reported.
According to Tara Sabin, Ryan Sabin told his son he was throwing it up because he was drinking it slowly and allowing air to build up, so he told his son to chug the water as he does in the Army as the family ate dinner, the newspaper reported.
Tara Sabin believed the boy was being dramatic. As the other children went to bed, Zachary remained in the kitchen and started throwing a temper tantrum. She said Ryan Sabin kicked the boy twice to get him up off the floor. He also picked the boy up, but Zachary dropped to the ground, hitting his head, the affidavit stated. Ryan Sabin then took his son outside to expose him to cold air to get the tantrum to stop, The Gazette reported.
Zachary eventually fell asleep, but not before walking around the kitchen making noises and staring at a wall.
The coroner said Zachary had to drink four, 24-ounce bottles of water over four hours without food. He vomited and had pain in his lower extremities before becoming non-verbal and sleepy. He was put into bed where he was found dead on March 11.
Officials said he was found in a urine-soaked diaper, The Gazette reported.
His father and stepmother were charged with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and misdemeanor child abuse. They turned themselves into the El Paso County Jail Tuesday, KXRM reported.
Zachary, who would have turned 12 in September, was supposed to start middle school in the fall. His mother said he wanted to be a veterinarian, a zoologist or a marine biologist when he grew up, KRDO reported.