MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities are investigating a child abuse case after Madison police say a teenage girl was being tortured by her own family.
Madison police say the girl was being held prisoner in the basement of her home on the city's southeast side. Officials believe she was being tortured and starved by her family.
Mike Vega says he saw the 15-year-old walking down the street on February 6.
"The girl started talking about how her stepmother had just thrown her down the stairs, she had escaped out a window and was looking for help," said Vega.
Vega says he called the police.
Authorities say the girl lived with her father, stepmother, adult step brother and two younger step siblings. The father - 40-year-old Chad Chritton, the stepmother - 42-year-old Melinda Drabek-Chritton, and 18-year-old step brother - Joshua Drabek were arrested February 10. The girl's father and stepmother are arrested for child neglect. The step brother was arrested on a probation and parole hold.
Madison police detectives have now turned the case over to the Dane County District Attorney's office.
The three appeared in Dane County Court on Monday. They are all being held on $20,000 to $25,000 bond.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police are investigating a significant child abuse and negligence case.
Police have arrested three people in connection with the case - the 15-year-old victim's father, stepmother and step brother.
Detectives have learned the girl lived with her father, stepmother and adult stepbrother, along with two younger stepchildren. While the rest of the family lived upstairs, the teen was forced to spend most of her time in the basement without a bathroom and given very little to eat. There was an alarm that would sound if she went upstairs.
Officials say their investigation started on February 6, when a passerby found a 15-year-old girl walking outside, without shoes or socks, and only in pajamas. She was a few blocks from her house and in serious need of help.
The concerned citizen notified Madison police, who say it was clear the 70-pound girl was dramatically underweight. The child's father provided medical explanations for her condition.
According to a police report, the investigation continued when a hospital social worker told officers there was likely much more to the case.
The teen was then examined by a doctor who specializes in child abuse, who determined her condition as "serial child torture with prolonged exposure to definite starvation."
The teen is not currently enrolled in public or private school.
The Madison Police Department is working closely with many agencies on this case.
Jackson County (WQOW) - The Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash in which a pedestrian was hit by a semi in a parking lot. It happened after 4 p.m. at the Hixton Travel Plaza parkingMore >>
Washburn County (WQOW) - It's been 17 years since a girl disappeared after getting off a bus in Washburn County. New details in the case could be released this weekend. Sara Bushland was last seen inMore >>
It's been 17 years since a girl disappeared after getting off a bus in Washburn County.More >>
Chippewa County (WQOW) - Even with the fire ban lifted, Chippewa fire crews are reminding everyone conditions are still dry. Emergency crews spent part of their evening battling a grass fire in ChippewaMore >>
Even with the fire ban lifted, Chippewa fire crews are reminding everyone conditions are still dry.More >>
GORDON, Wis. – Wildfire crews from the Department of Natural Resources, working through the night and joined by more than 100 municipal firefighters, have largely surrounded the Germann Road Fire whichMore >>
Wildfire crews from the Department of Natural Resources, working through the night and joined by more than 100 municipal firefighters, have largely surrounded the Germann Road Fire which has scorched 8,700 acres of forest land in Douglas and Bayfield counties.More >>
Local scores, plus highlights from softball (Menomonie vs. Chippewa Falls), baseball (Altoona vs. McDonell, LC Central vs. EC North, EC Memorial vs. DC Everest, Westby vs. Osseo-Fairchild) & soccer (Hudson vs. EC Memorial). More >>
Local scores, plus highlights from high school softball (Menomonie vs. Chippewa Falls), baseball (Altoona vs. McDonell, LC Central vs. EC North, EC Memorial vs. DC Everest, Westby vs. Osseo-Fairchild) and girls soccer (Hudson vs. EC Memorial).More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW) - At the gas pump, we're seeing a number we've never seen before in Eau Claire. Gas prices hit $4.14 on Friday, breaking the old record set five years ago at about $4.10 a gallon. RightMore >>
At the gas pump, we're seeing a number we've never seen before in Eau Claire.More >>
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact Director of Station Operations Lisa Patrow at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.