While a couple spent their days living out a fantasy life on the online game Second Life, their own two-year-old daughter was left to starve. The toddler was taken to hospital this week in a critical condition and weighing 13 POUNDS.
Mark Knapp, 48, and Elizabeth Pester, 33, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, have been arrested and charged with child neglect and abuse
Born in December 2010, police say the little girl was previously hospitalised in June 2012 for 'severe failure to thrive' and the her weight at that time - 15 months ago - was also 13 pounds. She cannot walk or move and had only limited vocal skills.
The toddler was placed in the care of the Department of Human Services after the first incident but was returned to her parents on the condition she would have weekly weight checks beginning in July 2012. However, she was never observed or examined since being returned to Knapp and Pester, according to the police report.
Instead of staying at their dangeously ill daughter's bedside, Knapp and Pester left the hospital after a few hours, telling nurses they wouldn't return for several days. They live only three miles from the hospital.
When officers arrested them they were playing computer games at their home.
According to Pester's Facebook profiles, the 33-year-old mother had a blonde, sexy avatar alter-ego called DJ Syn in Second Life – an addictive online virtual world where users can live a second, more glamorous life.