Disabled Girl Found Chained to a Bed: Police

Six-year-old boy calls cops on his parents

By Aixa Velez
|  Friday, May 7, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM CDT
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A Park Forest couple is accused of leaving an 8-year-old disabled girl chained to a bed and lying in her own waste.

The couple's 6-year-old son and the girl, who is the woman's niece, were left home alone, police said, according to the Neighborhood Star.

Police found the girl wearing a nylon dog harness with a chain connecting her to a wooden crib and the leg of a bunk bed.  She was lying in her wet clothes stained with feces, and seemed to be wearing a diaper that hadn’t been changed for days, police say.

Renee L. Dennis, 35, and Paul Coleman, 38, are accused of leaving the children around 9 a.m. on May 1 to go grocery shopping and have a hot dog lunch.

The 6-year-old boy who alerted police to the situation by calling 911 around 10:50 a.m. The couple was arrested when they arrived
home around 3:30 p.m.

Police say the house was unsafe, with a portion of the ceiling collapsed on the bunk bed, the floor covered in dirt and garbage and the only running water coming from the toilet.

"Anybody who has children, it just tears at you," said police Cmdr. Paul Winfrey.  "Even for people who don't have kids, you wouldn't treat an animal this way, let alone a human being."

Both are charged with felony criminal neglect of a disabled person and endangering the life or health of a child.  Coleman was also charged with failure to register as a sex offender.

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