FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Fort Collins couple charged with child abuse appeared in court on Monday to hear the charges against them.

Leah and Douglas Dyer are accused of ignoring their daughter’s seizures after investigators found the 8-year-old who couldn’t walk or talk.

Court documents say evidence shows it was the parents’ lack of care that left the girl in such dire shape, and if not discovered by officials, she would have eventually died.

The Dyers made their first appearance in court since being charged with felony child abuse of their old daughter. Court documents allege the couple neglected the girl, telling investigators they stopped taking her to doctor visits after she turned 3 years old because they didn’t have a working car and did not want to ask friends or family for help.

Investigators found the girl in October at the age of 7, malnourished, wearing a diaper, unable to walk or talk, and suffering from a seizure. Since then doctors determined her condition was the result of serious neglect, and not a predisposed medical problem.

Police arrested the couple last week.

Documents show Douglas Dyer told police he ignored his daughter’s seizures because he believed they were “spells” and that he tried to have their home blessed to get rid of spirits.

Police said on Monday the girl is safe, living with a foster family and regaining her health. Her mother, Leah is due back in court Thursday. Douglas Dyer is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 4.


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