Teenager locked in basement; two arrested

2010-04-01T02:00:00Z Teenager locked in basement; two arrestedBy Linda Rush, The Southern The Southern
April 01, 2010 2:00 am  • 

A cry for help from a 14-year-old locked in the basement of a rural Jefferson County residence led to the arrest Wednesday of the boy's father and a female who lived at the residence.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call at about 12:14 p.m. Wednesday from someone who had heard a juvenile yelling for someone to notify the police, Sheriff Roger Mulch said in a news release.

The caller, who lives in the area, said the youth was saying he was locked in the basement of the home and that he was left alone.

Deputies responded to the home in rural northeast Jefferson County. When no one answered the door, the deputies forced entry and found the boy locked in the basement. Sheriff's detectives and Illinois State Police crime scene investigators joined deputies.

The boy was removed from the basement, placed in protective custody and taken by a deputy to St. Mary's Good Samaritan Re-gional Health Center in Mount Vernon for medical evaluation. Afterward, the boy was interviewed and placed in protective custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

"Initial investigation reveals that the juvenile was locked in the basement of the residence where he resided," Mulch said. "It is not clear at this point for what length of time."

After authorities conferred with the state, a complaint for search warrant was completed by Assistant State's Attorney Phillip Butler and granted by Judge Terry Gamber. State police and Jefferson County investigators then processed the scene, Mulch said.

The boy's natural father, Robert E. Johnston, 43, and a 26-year-old woman, identified as Angela R. Toland, were found to be residing at the home, according to the sheriff. Neither was there when the boy was discovered in the basement, Mulch said.

"Both individuals were located a short time later, taken into custody, placed under arrest and charged with unlawful restraint (a Class 4 felony) and endangering the life or health of a child (Class A misdemeanor)," Mulch said.

The investigation continues by the sheriff's department, Illinois State Police and DCFS, the sheriff said.




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