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    Mother of Arapahoe woman involved in federal child abuse case charged with witness tampering

    All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    (Fremont County, WY) – Karen Rider has been charged with felony tampering with a witness, in relation to the ongoing child abuse case involving Kandace and Truman Sitting Eagle, according to federal Court documents.

    Rider, who is Kandace’s mother, faces the charge after reportedly telling three of Kandace’s other children who witnessed the abuse to not speak to law enforcement. Rider’s initial appearance hearing was held today, June 5, and her case was unsealed/made available to the public after she was committed to the custody of the U.S. Marshals. Her preliminary and detention hearings have been set for June 10.

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    Truman and Kandace were originally charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, and aggravated child abuse after law enforcement reportedly discovered a juvenile in their care who was being kept from school and locked in his room/deprived of food for long periods of time, and had been physically assaulted on multiple occasions.

    (It should be noted, the kidnapping charge was ultimately dropped as of today, June 5, after it was deemed that it did “not apply in the case of a minor by the parent thereof.”)

    The federal complaint filed against Rider on June 3 states that during the initial course of this investigation, the three minor siblings of the juvenile victim were forensically interviewed in December of 2023.

    Two of the children reportedly stated that they witnessed their brother being beat up by Kandace and Truman, and all three children reported their brother being locked in his room.

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    Two of the children reportedly described seeing a lock on the victim’s bedroom door, and one of them also talked about food being withheld from him

    Kandace and Truman were later arrested and transferred to federal custody, and the three siblings of the victim, as well as two additional younger siblings, were placed in the care of Rider.

    In May of 2024, the three siblings who were previously interviewed were brought to the
    United States Attorney’s Office in preparation for the ensuing trial, the complaint continues, where each was spoken to individually.

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    When asked about something happening to their brother, each child reportedly stated that they “did not know or could not remember.”

    The complaint also states that after one of the children’s interviews, another sibling asked, “What did you tell them?” to which the first sibling stated, “Nothing.”

    A call was also reportedly placed by Kandace to Rider on the same day the siblings met with law enforcement, which was recorded.

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    The complaint goes on to state that during that call, Rider informed Sitting Eagle that she told the youngest sibling that if they “said anything bad about his mom, they were not going to let her out of jail.”

    Rider also reportedly said that prior to the meeting, she gave that same sibling coffee, prune juice and chips, because “they make (them) go potty,” and she hoped that they would “make a mess and be in the “shitter” at the United States Attorney’s Office and would need help wiping.”

    Another call between Kandace and Rider was reportedly placed on May 28, where Rider
    stated that she “told the children not to talk to strangers, that the FBI were strangers, and it was not okay to talk to them.”

    Rider also stated that she reiterated to the children if they said “bad things about their mom, she would not be let out of jail.”

    Rider’s preliminary/detention hearings were later set for June 10.

    The maximum sentence for felony tampering with a witness charge is life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and 5 years of supervised release.

    As for the Sittingeagles, a jury trial is still currently scheduled for Kandace on June 10, as is a motion hearing set for tomorrow, June 6. The motion hearing is in response to motions filed on Kandace’s behalf on May 21, which requested to suppress statements and prohibit all children’s testimony. Those motions will be denied or approved tomorrow.

    Truman is set to be sentenced on July 9, after changing his original plea of “not guilty” to all charges, to “guilty” of the assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge, as per non-publicly available plea agreement stipulations.

    County 10 will provide updates on Rider’s case, which can be viewed here, as well as the Sittingeagle’s, which can be viewed here.

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