Photo: Gomez Children Blindfolded, Bound in Parking Lot Because Family Thought They Were Possessed
Earlier this summer, Adolfo and Deborah Gomez were charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of aggravated child endangerment when police allege they left two of their children bound and blindfolded outside their vehicle at a Walmart in Kansas.
On Tuesday, a police officer testified one of the bound children’s siblings who was in the vehicle at the time, told an investigator she and other family members believed her siblings and their home in Illinois were possessed by demons.
Tuesday’s testimony comes after an officer testified on Monday that the 7-year-old girl found bound with duct tape over her eyes said she asked to be tied up after she hit her siblings.
In June, the family pulled into a Walmart parking lot in Lawrence, Kansas when their car broke down en route to Arizona to visit relatives.
Deborah Gomez, 44, went into the store and claims she had no idea her 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were being bound and blindfolded.
After witnesses called police, officers arrived and found the two children outside of the car, the 5-year-old without shoes and wearing a soiled diaper.
Adolfo Gomez Jr., 52, was in the family’s vehicle when officers arrived and reportedly refused to get out of the car. Worried he may have a gun and/or hurt the three children in the vehicle, officers used a stun gun to subdue Gomez, who had begun “loudly either reciting religious sayings or possibly praying.”
When the vehicle was searched, officers say it smelled due to rotting food, bags filled with soiled diapers, bottles of urine, a cooler full of urine, and various other trash items.
The duct placed over the eyes of the two children was said to have been put there to protect them from demons. The older daughter, who was inside the SUV told officers the family planned to exorcise the demons from the two younger children, because “if the demons were to die they would die also.”
In all, five children were recovered from inside and around the vehicle. Their ages are 5, 7, 12, 13, and 15. They have been placed in protective custody and Deborah and Adolfo Jr. remain in jail on $50,000 bond.
The family was heading to Arizona from Northlake, Illinois, where the state’s Department of Children and Family Services investigated the parents in December of last year after receiving reports the children were being neglected. However, the case was closed in April 2012.
Tuesday’s preliminary hearing will end with a judge determining whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.