SLC said she doesn't eat more because she doesn't want to set off the alarm and she "doesn't want to ask to eat." She said she usually has to ask permission from Drabek-Chritton to eat, and that her stepmother usually says she's too busy to get her food or berates her, according to the complaint.
The girl told police said she was frightened of Drabek-Chritton and that her stepmother sometimes grabbed her by the throat and squeezed so that it became hard to breathe.
In the complaint, the girl is quoted as saying, "Last month my stepmom told my dad that she was in charge of me and that she is my personal owner. She told me dad that if my dad wants to be married to her he has to give me to her." She also told investigators that Drabek-Chritton wanted to be called "Your Majesty" and "Master."
SLC said that Drabek-Chritton lets her come upstairs to do chores for the family and that sometimes she makes her clean the house while naked so the girl couldn't hide any food in her clothes, the complaint said. When asked why she tried to hide food in her clothes, SLC replied, "Cuz I'm hungry," the complaint said.
Doctors who examined SLC said that given the extreme degree of starvation the girl has suffered, especially over the course of the past 30 days in which she rarely, if ever, had access to food, SLC was in an escalating pattern which ultimately could have resulted in death, according to the complaint.
The complaint said Dr. Barbara Knox, a child abuse pediatrician at the American Family Children's Hospital, examined SLC and diagnosed the girl as suffering from "serial child torture; persistent starvation; isolation; terrorization; physical abuse; sexual abuse; child neglect and symptoms concerning Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."
The girl said she was threatened and told she would be physically harmed, including killed, on multiple occasions, according to the complaint. Those threats of death have come in the form of statements of strangulation, being killed with a knife and being killed with a gun, the complaint said.
Doctors said that as of Feb. 15, the girl had gained 17 pounds from being allowed regular access to regular feeding.
Protective Services Received Several Allegations Involving Family
State officials said Child Protective Services officials had contact with the family seven times in the past yet at no time was the girl taken into protective custody.
State officials said they can only release a limited amount of information in cases like these, but according to details released by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, in June 2006 and January 2007 there were two Child Protective Services reports alleging sexual abuse that happened in another state. Those incidents were unsubstantiated and the child was determined to be safe.
A couple months later in 2007, the family was investigated again on allegations of sexual abuse and neglect after the girl told a school counselor she was sexually abused. But the girl was unable or unwilling to tell the social worker on the case or the police officer in the interview, so the claims were unsubstantiated and the girl was deemed safe.
In June 2009, Child Protective Services made contact with the family, and this time the Dane County Department of Human Services referred the family to a community service provider, but it's not clear what that provider did or if the family ever made contact.
In September 2009, another report of alleged neglect was made, and again the family was referred to a community service provider, who did make contact with the family.
The most recent allegations of neglect were in March 2011, but Child Protective Services determined that the allegations didn't meet the legal definition of abuse or neglect.
Chad Chritton told police he'd sought help from Dane County Human Services for his daughter but had not found a "workable solution."
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