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Anchorage woman charged with abusing and starving 3 daughters

  • Author: Jerzy Shedlock
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published April 12, 2016

A grand jury has indicted a 28-year-old Anchorage mother for allegedly starving and abusing three adopted children in her home, according to the district attorney's office.

The 15 charges against Echo Terry include first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, and allege the abuse happened for more than a year between August 2013 and September 2014.

The foster children, three biological sisters, were placed in Terry's care in 2011, prosecutors said. She formally adopted the girls two years later.

Over the course of Terry's guardianship, "the health of all three children significantly deteriorated. When the abuse was reported to authorities in September 2014, Terry's adopted children were immediately removed from the home and hospitalized for malnutrition, dehydration, neglect, and risk of refeeding syndrome," a metabolic ailment, according to the district attorney's office.

According to the state's bail memorandum, Terry changed the girls' names and withdrew them from public school for homeschooling. She imposed strict dietary restrictions on them -- no dairy, no gluten, no soy and no corn -- despite the girls having no diagnosed allergies, the memorandum says.

Terry also withheld meals frequently as punishment, and she would keep the girls in their rooms and not feed them for significant periods of time, the memorandum says. The girls eventually began sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night for food, it says.

In September 2014, the oldest daughter ran away. When the girl was found, she reported the abuse and all the girls were removed from Terry's home.

Terry faces a 20-year sentence for the assault charge if convicted.

She was arrested Tuesday morning, prosecutors said. An Anchorage Superior Court judge has set her bail at $100,000 and a third-party custodian. She made an initial court appearance earlier Tuesday, according to court records, which indicate she has no criminal record beyond a single traffic ticket.

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