CHICAGO (CBS) — A Waukegan couple accused of confining their daughter in the family’s basement has a long history with state officials responsible for watching over child welfare.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports the Department of Children and Family Services has had contact with the couple on numerous occasions since the mid-1990s.
“The child had been locked in the basement. The child was showering with a bucket. The child was using a porta-potty to go to the bathroom. It was just a terrible site,” said Commander Joe Florip of the Waukegan Police Department.
The girl was ten-years old. Her parents reportedly believed she was possessed by a demon, confining her to the basement of their Waukegan home.
The girl’s parents, 48-year-old Randy Swopes and 49-year-old Katherine Swopes, were arrested last week.
Directors at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) revealed Monday they have at least five encounters with the family since the mid-1990s.
In 2008, the family refused medical treatment for religious reasons. Randy Swopes reportedly used thread and glue to stitch the wound of his 14-year-old son, resulting from a health condition.
All eight of their children at the time were placed in foster care for “medical neglect and physical abuse.”
By 2011, the couple had completed reunification counseling, passed both supervised and unsupervised visits, and were granted the return of their five youngest children. The three oldest, ages 16 to 19, chose to remain in foster care.
DCFS first had contact with the couple in 1994 in downstate Illinois. They underwent five months of counseling for abuse allegations regarding two of their three children.
In 2006, the family was first investigated for medical neglect for refusing treatment for their son based on religious reasons.
Following last week’s arrests, the couple’s daughter and three other children, ages 7, 13, and 15, were all placed in foster care.
Bond was set at $750,000 for Randy Swopes and $150,000 for Katherine Swopes. Both remain in jail in Lake County.
Their first court date is set for July 31.