Family puts autistic relative in cage and forces her to drink milk laced with her mother's ashes
The autistic woman had been forced to do house and yard work while the family members usurped $8,000 given to the disabled woman in social security benefits
Five people from the same family in Amite, Louisiana have been arrested for keeping an autistic woman in a cage fashioned out of chicken wire and performing other acts of abuse on her after her mother passed away and she entered their care. Court documents said that the unnamed woman had been forced to do house and yard work at the mobile home where the rest of the family members proceeded to take $8,000 in social security benefits that had been intended for the autistic woman. The family members also subjected the woman to a sex trafficking scheme, made her eat dog feces, beat her repeatedly with a hammer, burned her with cigarettes, and forced her to ingest drugs.
Their depravity seemed to know no bounds after they made the woman perform sex acts in exchange for food and water and also subjected her to verbal abuse which included threatening to kill her if she tried to flee.
In one particular incident which was exceptionally cruel, The Advocate reported that the family members watched and laughed as they made the autistic woman drink her own recenty deceased mother's cremated ashes with milk which made her vomit several times after. The woman had moved in with her own relatives after her mother had died.
The abuse was discovered by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office in 2016. When officers when to the mobile home, the found the autistic woman to be extremely malnourished and covered all over with insect bites after being forced to live in a small six by eight feet cage that was built outside with only a bucket for a toilet. The authorities made five arrests that day and the indictments are now being presented by a federal court.
A statement that was released by the justice department has said that 42-year-old Raylaine Knope, 45-year-old Terry J. Knope II, 23-year-old Jody Lambert, and 20-year-old Taylor Knope have all been charged with one count of conspiring to obtain forced labor of their alleged victim, one count of forced labor, and one count of using force and threats of force to interfere with the autistic woman's federal Fair Housing Act rights because she is disabled.
Raylaine and Terry have also been charged with one count of attempted sex trafficking. Terry has additionally been charged with one count of hate crime for shooting his autistic relative with a BB gun because of her disability, and one count of theft of government funds for pocketing the disability benefits she is entitled to for himself. If convicted of the charges, all four of the family members will face life behind bars.
21-year-old Bridget Lambert, a person who is related to Raylaine, has been charged separately of one count of conspiring to obtain forced labor. She will face a maximum of five years in jail if she is convicted.