Good news and horrific news out of Illinois. A 17-year-old girl told police she had escaped from a home where she'd been captive for two years, being beaten and raped daily. The good news in this alleged horrifying scenario? That the girl finally manged to escape. And she did so with her small child, who she says was the product of being raped repeatedly. (Wonder what Todd Akin would say about that.) Police in East St. Louis, which is an extremely poor and crime-ridden area, swarmed the house today -- which cops describe as "deplorable" inside -- and took into custody a 24-year-old man and his mother!
The girl, whose name hasn't been released, reportedly told police she had tried several times to escape the house where she was held captive, but that her captor always chased her down and returned her at gunpoint. She said she finally escaped with the "help of a relative," and of course that will bring up some questions.
Right now, the police don't know much of anything that happened, though they do say some details of the teen girl's story do stack up. And she was reported missing back in April 2010. Because she was 15, she was listed as either missing or a juvenile runaway.
When a young child disappears, it is a clear case of the child being abducted against his or her will. But when teens disappear, thoughts tend to turn to the teen making a choice to run away from home. Additionally, it's much easier for an adult to claim that the teen came willingly and for there to be a he said/she said scenario.
If the teen girl is also poor and has any kind of history of trouble, that can be used against her, too. So these situations can be complex. But let's not forget that teens DO get abducted against their will -- often. It wasn't long ago that Adam Mayes killed Tennessee mother JoAnn Bain and kidnapped her three daughters, one of whom, Adrienne Bain, was 14 years old. He killed her.
Are you more suspicious of a kidnap story if it's told by a teenager?
*Earlier reports identified the area where the teen was held as Missouri. Later reports say Illinois.
Image via Michael Melchiorre/Flickr