A 15-year-old girl was held captive in the basement of her family's home with no access to food, a bathroom, or an education, according to police in Madison, Wisc.
Police arrested the girl's father and stepmother after a search warrant and interviews revealed that the girl had been kept in the basement and starved until she weighed only 70 pounds, according to a police report from the incident.
An investigation into the home began Feb. 6 when a passerby saw the girl walking along the side of a road in her pajamas without shoes or socks.
Mike Vega, who said he was the passerby who saw the girl walking, told ABC affiliate WKOW he called the police.
"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.
Police arrived and called EMS to take the girl to a hospital, where doctors and social workers ruled she had been serially abused and was the victim of "serial child torture with prolonged exposure to definite starvation."
While executing a search warrant at the home, police found that the girl had been kept in the basement of her family's home while her father, stepmother, and step-siblings all lived upstairs. She was not enrolled in any school, and an alarm was set up to go off if the girl came up from the basement. She was given little food and no access to the bathroom, police said.
Chad Chritton, 40, the father of the victim, was arrested by police Monday, along with the girl's stepmother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton. Both are charged with child abuse. A stepbrother of the girl, Joshua Drabek, 18, was also arrested on a probation and parole hold.
The family had previously been investigated for alleged molestation of the girl, but none of the family members cooperated with police and the victim did not corroborate the allegation, police said.
The three adults are all being held on $20,000 to $25,000 bond. Two other children who lived in the home have been placed in child protective custody, while the victim is receiving medical care and is also in child protective custody, police said.
The family could not immediately be reached for comment.