- DENVER (Reuters) - Police
Thursday arrested three people for conducting a controversial "rebirthing"
therapy on a 10-year-old girl who died after being wrapped in a blanket
despite telling them she could not breathe and was going to die.
- The procedure, aimed at helping children who cannot form
bonds with their parents by making them "relive" birth, was captured
on closed circuit television on April 18 while the girl's horrified mother
watched in a nearby room, according to the Jefferson County sheriff's office.
- The girl, Candace Newmaker of North Carolina, told the
therapists seven times that she could not breathe and said six times that
she was going to die.
- But instead of unwrapping her, the therapists said "you
got to push hard if you want to be born -- or do you want to stay in there
- The girl, who was adopted four years ago and had been
treated for Attention Deficit Disorder and depression, lost consciousness
during the procedure and was rushed to a local hospital where she died
the next day.
- Blanket Is Supposed To Represent The Womb
- In the procedure the child was completely wrapped in
a blue, flannel blanket that simulated the womb. Large pillows were placed
around her. Counselors then pressed in on the pillows to simulate contractions
and to motivate the girl to push her way out of the blanket through a twisted
end of the blanket at the top of the girl's head.
- Brita St. Clair, Jack McDaniel and Julie Ponder, employees
at Connell Watkins and Associates, a counseling office in Evergreen, Colo.
were arrested for "child abuse resulting in death," the sheriff's
- An arrest warrant was issued for a fourth person, Connell
Watkins, who ran the counseling office that specialized in attachment therapy
for children. Attorneys for Ponder and Watkins were not available to comment.
- According to an investigator who viewed the tape there
was a 20-minute lapse between the time the girl's last breath could be
heard to the time she was unwrapped.
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