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Illinois Parents Kept Daughter Locked In Basement, Claimed She Was Possessed, Police Say

Randy and Katherine Swopes were arrested after allegedly locking one of their four children in a basement. They believe the 10-year-old was possessed by a demon, authorities say.

By Eric Shorey
7 Facts About Child Abuse and Prevention

Two parents in Waukegen, Illinois have been arrested for keeping their daughter locked in a basement because they believed the child was possessed by a demon, according to authorities.

Randy Swopes, 48, and Katherine Swopes, 49, were arrested and charged with felony counts of child endangerment and unlawful restraint charges on July 17, according to WGNTV, a Chicago-based news organization.

Police discovered the child, who remains unnamed in reports, after receiving an anonymous tip about someone being held captive in the Swopes home. Officers found the 10-year-old child living in conditions they described as "poor."

Investigators believe the child was locked in the basement at night since at least January, forced to use a training toilet, and given only a bucket of water to clean with. The child had little contact with the outside world, police said.

Four Swopes children, including the one allegedly held captive, have since been taken into protective custody. The other children are aged 7, 13, and 15.

The parents have since told the police that they believe their child to have been under demonic influence, according to authorities.

In a statement, police noted that Randy Swopes had been registered as an Illinois State Police Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry participant in connection with a 2008 arrest. He had been charged with aggravated battery to a child after it was discovered that he had sewn up lacerations on one of his children's buttocks, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Randy is being held on a $750,000 bond, while Katherine is being held on a $150,000 bond. The pair are expected to appear in court again on July 31, 2018.

The case remains under active investigation, according to The Chicago Sun Times.

[Photo: Waukegan police]