Christopher Forder

Victim of Attachment Therapy
Kitsap County, Washington
Killed November 2002 at age 8

Note: The following account has been prepared from press reports, personal interviews, trial transcripts, and other public records.

Christopher Forder was one of the eight adopted children of Kimberly and Robert Forder, independent missionaries who resided in Kitsap County, Washington.  Christopher had been placed as a foster child with the Forder when he was four years old.  The adopted children told the authorities that all were treated harshly by the Forders, but Christopher in particular was targeted for abuse.

When the emaciated Christopher, at age 8, was dying of pneumonia, Robert Forder called the other children together and told them they had a choice.  They could call 911 and risk being put in foster homes, or bury the boy in the backyard.  The father then retired to bed.  The eldest called 911.  The authorities found the emaciated body of Christopher on the floor, covered in bruises, cuts and scars.  He was declared dead on November 24, 2002.

Kimberly Forder
[Photo: Kitsap Sun]

The parents told deputies that they presumed Christopher had
“Reactive Detachment Disorder”, a condition that "caused him to inflict injury upon himself by throwing his body against walls, onto the floor and picking or scratching at his skin," as well as causing his small size.  They claimed his previous caretakers had abused him.   The papers reported that the parents did not believe in modern medicine and used homeopathic preparations.

No charges were filed until an adult biological daughter came forward, four years after Christopher's death, and testified that her mother regularly beat Christopher and starved him days at a time.  The boy would search a compost pile for food or take the dog's food.   She said he was locked in an animal pen without food, water, or blankets.  He was forced to wear dirty diapers and spent days in the basement.

At this time, Robert Forder left his seven surviving children at an African orphanage in Liberia and disappeared.  The children were flown back to the States and put in foster care.   Kimberly Forder pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.