Cops Find 9 Adopted Kids Handcuffed, Starved

Date: 2007-08-01

Cops Find 9 Adopted Kids Handcuffed, Starved

Nine adults and teenagers were held captive, abused and starved by their adoptive mother for as long as 15 years. "Mom" duped four different NYC adoption agencies into allowing her to adopt 11 kids, all of whom authorities believe she later abused.

It is also believed that Judith Leekin kept all of the funds that the state issued and spent it on herself.

ABC News says that 1 of the 11 children are unaccounted for. They found the 10th, a 19 year old male elsewhere in the state. He was not there when police investigated initially.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department was led to Leekin's home after locating an abandoned 18-year-old woman who told officers that her mother, now known to be Leekin, kept all of her children tied up in various parts of her Florida home.

Police found the story hard to believe when they arrived. Beautiful home, well cared for, in a nice neighborhood. Once Leekin granted them entrance however, they found 8 people being held hostage in a bedroom.

"[The victims] initially denied being handcuffed. They seemed brainwashed or in fear of their lives," said Vega. "These people have lived there for some time and we think they all came at different times, between 10 and 15 years ago. None of them appeared to have an education past the fourth-grade level."

They range in age from 15-27 years old and they were kept hand cuffed together and made to sleep on the tile floor on a bedsheet. They were also not allowed to use the bathroom and had to just where they were.

What is with these sickos? I am sure none of the neighbors even suspected. Sounds like once any kid got in, they never saw light again.

So how does this happen with the adoption system?

Potential adoptive parents must meet strict requirements in order to adopt a child and Leekin would have needed as many as three witnesses per adoption to testify to adoption agencies about her character and parenting abilities.

Those witnesses are being looked at by authorities...

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