Mom Of Accused Child Torturer Charged With Feeding Boy Laxatives To Halt FBI Interview

The mother of a Wyoming woman accused of torturing her 13-year-old son has been charged with witness tampering for allegedly feeding one young boy laxatives to halt his FBI interview.

Clair McFarland

June 06, 20243 min read

Kandace Sitting Eagle is accused of torturing her 13-year-old son.
Kandace Sitting Eagle is accused of torturing her 13-year-old son. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

The federal government has charged a 62-year-old Fremont County woman with witness tampering on claims she tried to keep an accused child-torturer’s children from talking to investigators, including giving one of them laxatives before his FBI interview.

Karen Jule Rider faces one count of witness tampering, punishable by a maximum term of life in prison, in a federal criminal case made public Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Wyoming. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook filed the charges Monday.

The evidentiary affidavit says Rider is the mother of accused child-torturer Kandace Sitting Eagle (also known as Kandace Van Fleet).

Sitting Eagle is headed to trial this month on assault charges for allegedly torturing her 13-year-old son in her home on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Sitting Eagle’s five other children were placed in Rider’s care after Sitting Eagle’s Dec. 12, 2023, arrest.

In the hours or days after their mother’s arrest, three of the children, ages 4, 6 and 8, reportedly told investigators that their mother, Kandace Sitting Eagle, and her husband Truman Sitting Eagle had “beat up” the teenage boy.

The children reported their brother being locked in his room; two of them described seeing a lock on his bedroom door, court document say. One of the children talked about food being withheld from the teen.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Officer Matt Lee reportedly found the boy, severely injured and extremely hungry, hiding in a crawl space under the Sitting Eagles’ family home Dec. 12, 2023.


Six months later, the children went silent, the affidavit against Rider alleges.

The document says that those same three children who had spoken so freely in December were brought to the U.S. Attorney’s office May 22 for their final interviews before their mother’s trial, but this time they didn’t speak against their mother.

“Each of the children were brought into the meeting individually, and when asked about something happening to their brother, the victim, each child effectively stated that they did not know or could not remember,” FBI Special Agent Adrianne Culver wrote in the affidavit.

One child got back into the lobby and met with his or her sibling.

“What did you tell them?” asked the sibling in the lobby, reportedly.

“Nothing,” answered the sibling who’d just been interviewed, the affidavit relates.


Culver reviewed a recorded phone call Sitting Eagle placed from jail to her mother later that same day, the affidavit says.

Rider reportedly told Sitting Eagle that just before the FBI meeting, she gave the youngest child — who is now 5 —coffee, prune juice and chips because “they make him go potty.”

Rider allegedly said she hoped the child would make a mess and be in the “shitter” at the U.S. Attorney’s office and need help wiping, allegedly.

“Rider further stated that she told him if he said anything about his mom, they were not going to let her out of jail,” the document adds. “She told the children not to talk to strangers, that the FBI were strangers, and it was not OKto talk to them.”

Rider is in jail at this phase in her prosecution, according to a Wednesday order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa McKee.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter