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Police: Couple kept girl locked in basement, thought she was possessed by ‘demon’

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. – Two suburban Illinois parents are accused of keeping their 10-year-old daughter locked in the basement because they thought she was possessed by a “demon.”

Police arrested 48-year-old Randy Swopes and 49-year-old Katherine Swopes, who are being held on child endangerment and unlawful restraint charges, according to WGN.

Officers responded to a home in the 200 block of Liberty Street in Waukegan Tuesday after receiving an anonymous call that someone was held captive in the home’s basement.

Police discovered the girl in the basement living in “poor conditions.”

Investigators said the girl was locked in the basement at night, forced to use a training toilet, and made to shower from a bucket. Investigators said she had little contact with any other member of the family after the couple allegedly started locking her away around the beginning of 2018.

The parents told investigators they believed she was possessed by a “demon,” police said.

The child and her siblings, ages 7, 13 and 15, were taken into protective custody.

In a statement, police said:

“Randy is currently registered as an Illinois State Police Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry participant for a 2008 arrest by the Lake County Illinois Sheriff’s Office. Randy has been registering properly with the Waukegan Police Department annually since 2012.”

Randy is being held on a $750,000 bond and Katherine on a $150,000 bond. Both are scheduled to appear in court again on July 31.

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