GUILTY WI - Chad & Melinda Chritton, Joshua Drabek for abuse of 15yo girl, Madison, 2012

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by MarthaM, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. MarthaM

    MarthaM New Member

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    This is breaking/developing case on our local news. Father and stepmother have been arrested:

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/139316413.html
    MADISON- The Madison police department is investigating a significant child abuse and neglect case involving a 15-year-old girl.

    ...

    While the rest of the family resided upstairs, she was forced to spend most of her time in the basement, without a bathroom, and being given very little to eat. There was an alarm that would sound if she went upstairs, according to the police report...
     
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  3. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    Here's a post on a public Yahoo group for parents of RAD kids made by the perps, Chad and Melinda Chritton. (They admit she was never diagnosed with RAD.) Notice they complain she was trying to steal food :furious:
    I hope they do have videos of what went on in that home.
     
  4. MarthaM

    MarthaM New Member

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    On their 10 pm news, WISN-12 (Milwaukee channel) showed part of an interview with the man who found her. He said he thought she was about 8 years old, and then she told him she was 15. :( That's how small she is. I am just disgusted with these parents... of course she was trying to steal food, since they wouldn't give it to her. This poor girl was hungry.

    The man also said that she had burns, cuts, and bruises all over. I wonder how she finally managed to get out?
     
  5. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    I sent a link to one of the articles to the owner of the support group. The Chrittons are hardly the sort of people who should be giving advice to others about parenting. But it does make me wonder whether support groups of this type have a small number of abusers who are trying to justify their crimes. Might bear looking into.
     
  6. lisalei321

    lisalei321 Founding Member of AFKBPOFPOPL

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    What does RAD stand for?

    Sent from my LG Esteem, using Tapatalk.
     
  7. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    I believe it stands for Reactive Attachment Disorder ....
     
  8. mrsu

    mrsu New Member

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    Deplorable!!! :( Pictures of the monsters here: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/lo...cle_b0c5405e-5756-11e1-819b-001871e3ce6c.html
     
  9. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    This isn't the first time I've seen abusers accuse their victims of "stealing food." If your child eats food without asking, do you consider it stealing? I'm curious about whether someone saying their child "steals" food (instead of, say, "sneaks" food or something like that) might be a sign the child is being abused. How can you steal food in your own home? I could be wrong, but it just seems to show that they don't consider the child as a part of the family. Also, for most people, would a child sneaking food even be considered an issue?
     
  10. BritsKate

    BritsKate Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderf

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    FWIW I don't see that alone as a red flag for abuse. We have a problem with our 11 y/o dd 'stealing' food. I do call it that because she takes it without asking and sneaks it into another room and then conceals the evidence. She's a smart cookie.

    She has three meals and two snacks a day and often dessert. She is deeply, desperately loved but she has a fondness for sweets and salty snacks that are only allowed in moderation and as she is overweight I worry over her health and self-esteem. I buy healthy snacks my kids are welcome to just take - but they do have to ask about stuff not earmarked for them as I cook pretty much everything from scratch and often have ingredients designated for recipes.

    IME abusers will accuse, malign, and denigrate their victims over any imagined offense.

    ETA: In thinking more about it maybe I'm just an overly strict parent since I also keep pointing out we pay the mortgage and as such make the rules. (Some forgiveness here as we're dealing with stroppy pre-pubescence.;))

    I so pray this young lady is able to heal and rebuild from unimaginable trauma. :please:
     
  11. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    I wonder if all children denied food become hoarders? That would be an interesting statistic to see. I suspect it would be a very high percentage. I don't mean cases like BritsKate. I mean like the girl in this case. Starvation type deprivation. I wonder if there is anywhere I could find this information? Anybody know?

    It is so heartbreaking to see a child who has been starved. It is such a hideous form of child abuse with long-ranging consequences for the child. It takes an especially cruel person to refuse food to their child.
     
  12. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    BritsKate - I suspect almost all parents have pulled the mortgage card on their teenagers. The 'my way or the highway' talk. LOL I think your situation is entirely different than this case. You are not starving your child. Your child gets adequate nutrition as well as snacks. You are trying to improve her health by limiting non-nutritious foods. Still, it must be difficult for both of you. Have you addressed this issue with her doctor? He may have some suggestions for resolution. However, I personally wouldn't call it stealing because of the connotations of that word. Possibly sneaking.

    I do believe, for the most part, that the term 'stealing food' tends to be a red flag for abuse. Obviously, not in all cases, but I think it could be used as a yardstick for further investigation.
     
  13. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    Maybe for some people it's a red flag, but in our house, we have food thieves. There's no other word for it. My middle boys will go to great lengths to get things they aren't supposed to have, and even greater lengths to hide the evidence that they did it.

    It might seem like a non-issue, but when you have kids that won't eat a decent meal because they are constantly snacking, or kids like my middle son that eat until they vomit, it becomes an issue.

    Of course, stealing food is not something that you handle by restricting a kid to what they can dig from the trash. In this case, it's pretty obvious why she was stealing food. I would too, in that situation. But just because a parent says that a kid is stealing food doesn't immediately set off red flags. An extremely malnourished 15 year old that has to live in the basement sets off every red flag, though.
     
  14. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Barbara Knox of American Family Children's Hospital told police the malnutrition the girl suffered "poses a significant risk of death" and that chronic starvation had caused her puberty to be arrested, the affidavit states. Knox also said that because of the starvation and severe malnutrition, the girl would be at high risk for other disorders and complications that can lead to death.

    Perry Ecton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, confirmed Monday evening that Melinda Drabek had applied with Habitat in 2004 and closed on the home in December 2005 as a single mother with two boys. Ecton said there was no mention of a girl in the application to his knowledge and that Chad Chritton was referenced in the application as the "father of one of the boys and a friend —not living in the home."

    http://m.host.madison.com/mobile/article_b0c5405e-5756-11e1-819b-001871e3ce6c.html
     
  15. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    Thanks to BritsKate and NMK for the information. It kind of changes my opinion of 'stealing food' being a red flag. This is not something I have ever dealt with, so am lacking personal knowledge. Thanks for enlightening me.
     
  16. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    It used to set off warning bells for me too, but once my son started coming down from his room at night and throwing up things that I knew we hadn't fed him, it sort of changed my opinion. We had to search every inch of his room, and we found things that he had hidden in his room that rotted and he ate anyway, as well as all kinds of junk food, which explained why he wasn't eating meals, but was never seeming to be hungry. He was getting up before anyone else in the house, taking food, hiding it in his room, and then intentionally getting in trouble to get sent to his room, so he could eat it...

    I think the difference here is that when I found out my kid was stealing food, and hoarding all kinds of junk in his room, I felt like a terrible parent. Apparently, these parents did not, instead they saw a horrible child. What makes me nervous and sets off my flags about a family is wen I see one child that is obviously scapegoated...that's when I worry it may eventually turn into a situation like this.
     
  17. Hopeful One

    Hopeful One Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who

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    I came here this morning to make sure there was a thread on this. I was sick to my stomach after hearing it on our local news last night on my way home from work.

    Those parents just LOOK scary. I can't believe how many cases like this we hear about and how long it takes for these poor children to be discovered. :(
     
  18. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    I'm finding this to be a fascinating subject. I didn't realize that children sometimes do steal food even though properly cared for. Yet, we have seen so much abuse that includes starvation of the child. It's apparently not the automatic red flag that I thought it was. Why would a child being properly fed hoard food? Is there a medical diagnosis for this? Is this something they will outgrow? So, I guess it would have to be stealing food combined with a failure to thrive to constitute the red flag.
     
  19. Hopeful One

    Hopeful One Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who

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    As a teenager, I hid food in my room and I was far from an abused child. My parents had money, I was always well-fed and we wanted for nothing. My parents were also incredibly loving.

    I don't know why I did it. I think it was sort of a control thing. Kind of like a way to show myself that I could control ME and my parents couldn't have a handle on that one little part of myself. It made me feel good to have little stashes of licorice and Little Debbie snacks. :)

    I think I was a weirdo.

    ETA: I never stole the food. I bought it with my own money, the money I earned from working my part-time job.
     
  20. Hopeful One

    Hopeful One Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who

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    I have a fast-growing 13-yo (read: teenager!!) boy in the house and he "sneaks" food all the time. The kid has the appetite of a 400 pound man and I'm not even kidding.

    I wouldn't consider it stealing food. I call it sneaking food. He can't help that his appetite is enormous. He gets lots of exercise with basketball every night and he's got a great physique, so it's not like he's becoming a tubba-wubba. I think it's probably fairly normal, especially if parents really restrict their children's diets. And I mean normal parents, not parents like this.
     
  21. TracyLynnS

    TracyLynnS New Member

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    BBM

    Belinda, Prader-Willi Syndrome is one medical condition that causes a child to eat non-stop, even when they are properly fed and not nutritionally neglected.

    http://www.pwsausa.org/

    This particular condition is a chromosomal abnormality. Quote from the site:

    PWS typically causes low muscle tone, short stature if not treated with growth hormone, incomplete sexual development, and a chronic feeling of hunger that, coupled with a metabolism that utilizes drastically fewer calories than normal, can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.

    The food compulsion makes constant supervision necessary. Average IQ is 70, but even those with normal IQs almost all have learning issues. Social and motor deficits also exist.

    At birth the infant typically has low birth weight for gestation, hypotonia (weak muscles), and difficulty sucking due to the hypotonia which can lead to a diagnosis of failure to thrive. The second stage (“thriving too well”), has a typical onset between the ages of two and five, but can be later.

    The hyperphagia (extreme unsatisfied drive to consume food) lasts throughout the lifetime. Children with PWS have sweet and loving personalities, but this phase is also characterized by increased appetite, weight control issues, and motor development delays along with some behavior problems and unique medical issues.



    ETA: This is not the case with the young girl who is the subject of this thread. What's going on with her clearly seems to be the deliberate abuse and neglect of a normally healthy child.
     

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