Charged: Brookfield couple accused of locking teenage daughter in basement, forcing her to wear diaper

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WAUKESHA COUNTY (WITI) -- FOX6 News is learning more about a Brookfield couple accused of locking their teenage daughter in the basement -- forcing her to wear a diaper. The couple is now facing child neglect charges. Records show the girl came to school covered in feces, and prosecutors say her mother and step-father are to blame.

It was an anonymous call to Brookfield police that finally got the attention of officials in Waukesha County. The caller told police a teenage girl was being kept in the basement of a Brookfield home -- being "treated like an animal."

Now, the 13-year-old girl's mother and step-father are facing child neglect charges after the teen continually showed up at school covered in dry feces.

According to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday, March 25th in Waukesha County, the girl's parents called her "Stink" and refused to let her use the family bathroom or sit on furniture because her step-father thought she was disgusting.

Every day after school, prosecutors say, the girl, who has low-level autism and cognitive disabilities was forced into her basement bedroom and dressed in an adult onesie and a pull-up diaper.

The next morning, she would ride the bus to school covered in dry feces.

Teachers and counselors at Wisconsin Hills Middle School reported the alleged neglect to the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services back in December. According to police, Lutheran Social Services had been working with the family and knew about the girl's living conditions a year ago.

When police visited the home in early march, the temperature in the girl's bedroom was around 50 degrees.

The social worker who had been working with the family told police the anonymous caller was right. The teenage girl was being treated like an animal.

The couple's first court appearance is scheduled for next week.


  • Mr. Bob

    Teachers and counselors at Wisconsin Hills Middle School reported the alleged neglect to the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services back in December. According to police, Lutheran Social Services had been working with the family and knew about the girl’s living conditions a year ago.
    So Lutheran Social Services knew about the girl’s living conditions a year ago and did nothing to address that?? What good is Lutheran Social Services??? Why were they allowing this girl to live like an animal for a year?? Why didn’t they call police immediately?? It takes an anonymous call by a neighbor to police to address this situation??? Wow, not only are the parents complete and absolute failures, so are the people at LSS and the social worker who was supposedly monitoring the situation. Take the other children away from these scumbag parents and place all of the children in a new permanent home. Jail these worthless parents, fire and prosecute the social worker, sue Lutheran Social Services on behalf of those girl who was forced to live like an animal….

    • CapyB

      FSS employes people as counselors without humanitarian degrees. You could have a degree in law enforcement, apply at FSS and they will hire you. First problem right there. People are employed as counselors at FSS who have no business being counselors. Full investigation should be started across the entire state of Wisconsin regarding the people employed at FSS, No one should have been working with anyone on anything. There should have been one phone call, followed by handcuffs.

      • Mr. Bob

        Wait one minute here CAPYB. Any person with any common sense should be able to recognize that the situation was deplorable and unacceptable. You do not need the college degree for that. If they would then just raise the issue with the person they report to that is all that should be necessary. That person would then know that the next step is law enforcement intervention to remove all of the children from the home. Humanitarian degrees are not needed in this situation. A sense of right and wrong is all that is necesssary. None of these people did their job here and all should suffer consequences for not protecting this girl…..

    • Coni

      I couldn’t have stated it better, just add Human Services to your culpable list, they knew fron the school and did nothing.

  • jeanne fenner

    this went on way too long-they-the state-knew about this going on and did nothing. they should be in trouble, along with the parents.

    • esselle

      Agreed and should be held legally responsible. I hope some legal entity acts and prosecutes on behalf of the victim.

  • Frobb

    Wisconsin Hills Middle School called the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services, the school is at fault for not calling the Brookfield police. Find the dummy at the school who made that dumb decision. Interview the school.

  • Margaret Hayes

    Society has definitely let this young girl down. Why are we as an advanced society on earth not taking things like this seriously enough to intervene? Shame on so many people and departments that were involved for such a long time and just “monitored” the situation. Sad. Very sad. We all need to step up our awareness of life around us and make sure that we are protecting not only our household members but those that we are certain are not being protected properly from abuse of any kind. ~infinity~

  • L Zwicker

    Why in the world did LSS allow this to go on for a year? They, along with the parents need to be held accountable! I will never give another dime of my money to this organization!!! Shame on the school for not following up on their earlier report when they clearly saw that nothing had changed in this poor little girls life! Another form of bullying right there! I totally agree with Mr. Bob

  • Patricia A.

    Why did it take officials so long to respond to the conditions this poor child was living in. Why didn’t the teachers and counsellors report this? The social worker said that she was being “treated like an animal”. Then why didn’t she have the child removed? I have serious concerns about the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services. If this had indeed been an animal it would have been removed immediately. Prayers for this poor child and that she never has to return this this abusive home and couple. They should be sent to jail. Everthing they own should be should and money be put in a trust fund for when she is ready to go to college and be administered by a qualified and trustworthy administrator. I could go on and on. I am so upset by this article and the lack of immediate response to her living conditions.

  • Sparks

    What is going to be done to Lutheran Social Services? They were aware of this situation and failed to report it for over a year. That makes them complicit in this ugly crime.

  • Peg

    Everyone who thinks this is an outrage and has the ability should sign up to foster low-functioning kids like this. The reason it went on so long is because group homes won’t take them, there are not enough foster families who want to deal with kids this severe and institutions don’t have enough beds for new patients. The only option is to try to work with the parents while you wait for a bed to open up. Due to state budgets and laws past in the 80s, the least restrictive environment- meaning the kids’ homes- must be given a chance to correct issues before you move the child to an institution, and because of that, institutions have been closed all over the country. There simply is no place to put her. The soc worker, the police, Lutheran services, all have been trying to give the parents a chance to get their act together because alternative placement doesn’t really exist.

    • Kris

      There is no excuse for the police to not have been notified. It is the law, social workers are mandated reporters as are teachers. Period.

    • Mr. Bob

      Hey PEG, you are full of shi_. You make excuses left and right to cover for these people, but in the end when the police were finally sent to the home they immediately removed this child. The police didn’t say, oh we’ll be back to check on her in a year to see if anything has changed. What does that say about your excuses for not being able to find a place for this young girl??? Guess what? They found a place because they were forced to find a place for her instead of letting this go on and on.

      • Tony

        I have been abused since the day I was born. Peg is like the police and government workers. I have heard what he said many times before. They want the kid to be “home schooled” and murdered.

  • bonnie balas

    reported in December and it took to now to help this child? and a year since Lutheran services knew about it? can’t wait for their call to contribute to their “wonderful cause” I hope the social worker sleeps well at night.

  • Strawberry

    These people are sick! I cry at the loss of morals and humanity in today’s society. What they did to this girl was inhumane. The world is full of sick people.

  • Kurt Samuels

    Isn’t LSS workers mandated reporters? Shouldn’t they have reported this to the county HHS as soon as they learned of this? If this is the cases, charges should be brought against LSS, also.

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