An Illinois couple faces charges after authorities recovered the 10-year-old daughter they allegedly kept locked for months in their basement, believing she was “possessed by a ‘demon,’ ” PEOPLE confirms.
Police were alerted by an anonymous 911 caller who sent them Tuesday afternoon to the Waukegan home where parents Randy Swopes, 48, and Katherine Swopes, 49, lived with the girl and her three siblings about 40 miles north of Chicago, according to Waukegan police.
“That call might have saved that girl’s life,” police spokesman Cmdr. Joe Florip tells PEOPLE.
The caller said someone was possibly being held in the home’s basement, and investigators then allegedly learned the girl had been “forced to live” in poor conditions possibly since January, according to a news release.
Investigators “believe that, within the last calendar year, the 10-year-old victim had limited access to the outside, [was] locked in the basement at night, went to the bathroom in a training toilet, and showered from a bucket,” the statement alleged.
“It is also believed that the child had very limited access to other members of the family. Finally, the parents of the 10-year-old told investigators that they believed she was possessed by a ‘demon.'”
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Both Randy and Katherine Swopes were arrested on charges of child endangerment and unlawful restraint. They are being held in the Lake County jail with a $750,000 bond for Randy and a $150,000 bond for his wife.
It was not clear if they had entered pleas to the charges, nor if attorneys had been named to speak on behalf of either of them. They are scheduled to appear in court July 31.
A neighbor, Willa Turman, said, “I knew something was going on but I couldn’t prove anything,” according to TV news stations ABC11.
Police said Randy is listed on the “Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry” maintained by Illinois State Police following a 2008 arrest in Lake County. Police say Randy was required to register after he “attempted a medical procedure on one of his children by trying to sew an open wound closed,” reports Chicago news station Fox32.
He has properly maintained his registration requirement each year since 2012 with the Waukegan police, according to the department.
The 10-year-old girl and her siblings — ages 7, 13 and 15 — were taken from the home and placed Tuesday in the protective custody of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.