Starved Girl Found Walking on Sidewalk in Madison, WI
By Heather Thatcher
On Wednesday, February 6, 2012, Mike Vega found a sexually abused runaway girl wandering barefooted on the sidewalk in Madison, WI . Vega called the police and the girl was taken to the hospital. The girl is now in foster care.
She told investigators that she was 15 and that since 2006 she was forced to live in the unfinished basement of her step mother and her father's house. She was beaten and sexually assaulted. There was no bathroom or shower downstairs so if she had to go to the bathroom she would have to use a box. If she made a mess her parents would force her to eat her own feces. If she needed to clean herself up she had to use cold water from her sink.
Neighbors previously had reported suspected child abuse, but nothing had happened. The step mother and the father are both charged with child abuse, child neglect and reckless endangerment. The charges are the maximum of 11 years and three months. The girl's 18 year old step brother is charged with child abuse and child sexual assault. He faces 68 years behind bars if convicted. The father's bail was set at $22,500, the step mother's bail was set at $30,000, and the girl's step brother's bail was set at $25,000.