The parents of a 10-year-old Illinois girl have been arrested after police discovered she had been kept in the couple's basement for more than a year.
Police received a call from someone anonymously claiming that someone was being held captive in the home of Randy and Katherine Swopes.
When police visited the home, they discovered the young girl living in squalid conditions in the basement. "She was showering with a bucket, she was using the bathroom in a child's port-a-potty, she had very, very limited access to the outside," said Commander Joe Florip of the local police.
So why did the Swopes lock their daughter in the basement? Well, apparently they believed that she was possessed by a demon. Florip himself confirmed that at least one of the parents believed the child was possessed by a demon. Both parents have been charged with child endangerment and unlawful restraint. Their daughter and her three siblings have been taken into state custody by the Department of Child and Family Services.
This kind of story is not unheard of, but it is always tragic when young children suffer because of their parents' delusions. Who knows why the Swopes believed their daughter was possessed by a demon? One thing is for sure, though, a prerequisite for that kind of belief is the belief in the existence of demons.
Hopefully this young girl and her siblings will be able to move on from the insanity that they were subjected to at the hands of their parents.