An Illinois couple is accused of keeping their 10-year-old daughter imprisoned in the basement since the beginning of the year because they thought she was possessed by a demon.
Randy Swopes, 48, and Katherine Swopes, 49, were arrested Tuesday after officers arrived at their Waukegan home amid reports that someone was being held hostage in their basement. There, police learned that a 10-year-old was living in the basement, kept away from her her family and three siblings, ages 7, 13, and 15, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Police said the girl was provided with a training toilet and would shower using a bucket. She had limited access to leave the basement during the day and was locked in the basement at night, they alleged.
“The parents of the 10-year-old told Investigators that they believed she was possessed by a ‘demon,’” the statement read.
Police also revealed Randy Swopes is listed on the “Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry” for attempting to sew one of his children’s wounds closed. The 2008 incident resulted in him being convicted of child battery and sentenced to community service and probation.
The four children are in the custody of Department of Children and Family Services, police said.
“It makes me think about just the interaction that I have had with him,” neighbor Willa Turman told WLS. “I knew something was going on but I couldn’t prove anything.”
Both suspects are charged with child endangerment and unlawful restraint. A judge set bail at at $750,000 for Randy Swopes and $150,000 for Katherine Swopes. They are scheduled to appear in court on July 31.
[Featured Image: Randy Swopes, Katherine Swopes/Waukegan Police Department]