600-pound couple accused of starving daughter speak out, solicit money
|Melinda Drabek-Chritton and Chad Chritton claim the child abuse allegations are fantasies|
The couple describe a hard life on the website: Chad is a "40-year-old American man" who "lived paycheck to paycheck" supporting his family after leaving the Army; Melinda has developed serious medical problems, including diabetes, after giving birth to their first child. Although life was hard, the site says, "they had each other, and their faith."
On the "background" page of the website, the couple says there's "no doubt" that the 15-year-old, identified as "SLC," has "significant mental health problems." The Chrittons claim the girl is a liar dealing with significant physical and emotional trauma from previously living with her mother and a registered sex offender in Texas.
To explain the daughter's weight at the time of their arrest, the couple's website includes an unsigned testimonial from a man named "Mike," who claims that the daughter often refused food.
|Joshua Drabek allegedly abused his stepsister|
Another testimonial, from "Stephanie," says Chad loved his daughter and would've never starved her.
SLC escaped the family's Madison, Wisconsin, home February 6 and was discovered by a motorist, who called police. SLC weighed 70 pounds when she came to law enforcement's attention. Her face was "sunken," collarbones popping out.
Following interviews with the girl, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that the family locked SLC in the basement,
where she was starved. SLC told police she was deprived of a bathroom
and used "boxes or containers" to relieve herself. When things got
messy, the girl reported to investigators, "they will make me eat it. Or
drink it or rub it on my face."
In a page titled "Other Facts," the couple claims that SLC lived in the basement in part to keep her physically separated from Joshua Drabek, her stepbrother, who had been "accused of inappropriately touching his cousin."
Despite the precautions, Joshua Drabek has been charged with sexually abusing SLC. But the family contends that SLC is lying, and claims SLC falsely accused Joshua of molesting her when she was 9 because she was "ashamed" to be caught masturbating.
There are two sides to every story. None here are for the faint of heart.
The Chrittons face felony child abuse charges for what authorities refer to as "serial child torture."