Madison police investigating case of 'serial child torture'

CREATED Feb 14, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 14, 2012

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MADISON- The Madison police department is investigating a significant child abuse and neglect case involving a 15-year-old girl.  A doctor diagnosed the teen's condition as "serial child torture with prolonged exposure to definite starvation," according to an incident report from Madison police.

The 70-pound girl was found in outside on Monday, Feb 6 by a passerby.  The girl was a couple of blocks from her house-- walking outside without shoes or socks and in her pajamas.

The girl told investigators her stepmother let her out of the basement to clean some papers.  When she wasn't working fast enough, the woman threatened to throw her down the stairs -- then the girl  finally ran away, fearing her life.

Inside a suburban home in southeast Madison, investigators say for the past six years, the parents kept their 15-year-old daughter in the basement. 

Detectives learned she lived with her father, a stepmother, an adult stepbrother, and two younger stepchildren.  While the rest of the family resided upstairs, she was forced to spend most of her time in the basement, without a bathroom, and being given very little to eat.  There was an alarm that would sound if she went upstairs, according to the police report.

According to court documents, the girl's father and stepmother even made her drink her own urine.

Father Chad G. Chritton and stepmother Melinda J. Drabek-Chritton were arrested and were in court Monday for a bail hearing.  They have not yet been charged.

In addition, the girl's 18-year-old stepbrother was arrested on a probation and parole hold.

The child is currently not enrolled in a public or private school.

An unnamed party alleged the girl may have been molested by a family member. The girl did not corroborate the allegation during the investigation by the MPD, according to that incident report.