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Sam Penrod ReportingWas the death of a nine-year old girl in Springville earlier this month an unpreventable tragedy or should her parents have sought medical treatment before it was too late? Rachel Bundy died March 4th from what is believed to have been bacterial meningitis. Authorities apparently believe the girl's parents could have done more to treat her illness, and are investigating the possibility of child abuse.
This is a very sad case, and no one is questioning Rachel's parents’ concern for her. But now with police and prosecutors investigating what may have been homeopathic treatments, it may begin yet another chapter into the debate here in Utah over parents’ rights when it comes to the health of their children.
When Rachel Bundy's parents called 9-1-1 on March 4th after discovering she was not breathing, she could not be revived by paramedics. But the Springville police search warrant details that when emergency officials were called to the home, they had serious questions about the care Rachel had received.
The warrant shows police seized bed sheets and a three ring binder that appeared to police to be a log book of treatments given to the girl at home. Police requested the search warrant because of evidence the girl was not given, "appropriate medical care." In an interview with Eyewitness News two days after Rachel's death, her parents said she had been sick for about a month, and that serious flu symptoms appeared a couple of days before she died.
Dorian Bundy, Girl's Father, March 6: "She had been ill about a month before that, too. And I had given her a priesthood blessing and she'd recovered and she was doing well. And I felt like this time, nothing...it was her time to go and she was appointed unto death and there was nothing that could have prevented that."
Two years ago it was the highly publicized case of Parker Jensen, who was diagnosed with cancer. The state made attempts to force chemotherapy treatments on the 12-year old. His parents were charged with kidnapping and child abuse for opting for unconventional treatments, in a case that put the subject of parents rights in the headlines.
Rachel Bundy's parents were not available today to respond to the search warrant. Again, prosecutors are only reviewing the evidence. A final decision on whether or not any charges will be filed has still not been made.