15 YEAR OLD GIRL LOCKED IN BASEMENT FOR THE PAST 6 YEARS, FORCED TO DRINK HER OWN URINE AND EAT HER OWN FECES – UPDATED 02.05.2013 – CCA0033
15-Year Old Girl Locked in Basement For The Past 6 Years, Forced To Drink Urine And Eat Feces
A 15-year old Wisconsin girl was found walking barefoot several blocks from her home in pajamas on February 6, 2012. When the police arrived and began talking to the extremely malnourished girl, weighing only 70 pounds, a tragic tale of the horrific torture she was forced to endure began to unravel. Since 2006, the girl was locked in her basement by her father, Chad Chritton, 40 and her step-mother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 42, being forced to drink her own urine and eat her own feces. The girl was suffering from such severe malnutrition that she had not yet even reached puberty, and suffered what a physician specializing in child abuse described as “serial torture with prolonged exposure to definite starvation”. Doctors have stated the girl is still in critical danger of dying and may not pull through as she is going through “re-feeding syndrome”, a condition where her body rejects the introduction of food after a long period of starvation. They have also stated that because of the starvation and severe malnutrition, the girl is at high risk for other disorders and complications that could lead to death.
According to the girl, if she attempted to go upstairs, an alarm would sound. She was forced to survive by eating things off the floor, finding things in the laundry room, and occasionally, rummaging through the garbage. The basement where the girl was kept has no bathroom. How she managed to survive is beyond me, she definitely has the soul of a survivor to have made it through these past 6 years.
Chritton and Drabek-Chritton were arrested on suspicion of child abuse and neglect. They are being held at Dane County Jail on $20,000.00 bail.
The family lived in a new construction ‘Habitat for Humanity’ home for which Drabek-Chritton obtained by claiming to be a single mother of two boys. However, Drabek-Chritton only has one son living with her, 18-year old Joshua Drabek. When Chritton and Drabek-Chritton were arrested, Joshua was also arrested on a probation violation and charged with sexually assaulting a child. When Habitat For Humanity was contacted, they stated that there was never any mention of a daughter on their application. Living in the home were Chritton, Drabek-Chritton, Drabek and two younger children. They all resided upstairs while the girl was locked in the basement. The two younger children were placed into protective custody.
When questioned by police, Drabek-Chritton stated the girl was not in school because she was being home schooled. Chritton attempted to explain away the girl’s physical condition with medical explanations.
When the girl was recovered by law enforcement, she told them she was attempting to flee the home after Drabek-Chritton threatened to throw her down the stairs and hurt or kill her after she failed to clean fast enough during a brief time when she was allowed upstairs. She was fleeing the home afraid for her life.
In 2007, the police responded to a call that the girl may have been molested by a family member. However the girl did not corroborate the allegation during the investigation and she appeared healthy at the time.
APRIL 20, 2012 – Chad Chritton and Melinda Drabek-Chritton entered pleas of not guilty in court earlier this week. The two have also been charged with additional charges of causing mental harm to a child, failure to protect a child, false imprisonment and child neglect resulting in bodily harm. The two are scheduled to appear back in court on May 18, 2012, for a motions hearing.
Joshua Drabek’s trial beings on June 3, 2012. Chad Chritton’s trial has been set to begin February 25, 2013. Melinda Drabek Chritton’s trial has been set to begin April 8, 2013.
We will continue to follow the case and post any updates as they become available.