A Wisconsin mother and her boyfriend are facing serious charges after allegedly imprisoning two young boys in their home for an extended period of time. The shocking case came to light when a concerned neighbor witnessed the children, aged 7 and 9, climbing out of a shattered window and walking down the street naked. The subsequent investigation revealed appalling living conditions, leading authorities to describe the scene as something out of a horror movie.
Katie Koch, 34, and Joel Manke, 38, now face multiple felony counts related to child neglect and false imprisonment. According to reports, the children were found in a state of severe neglect, exhibiting behaviors that suggested they had been isolated from the outside world.
Neighbors in the area expressed shock and concern over the children’s living conditions. Christine Eder is a neighbor who witnessed the boys’ distressing behavior. She described their unkempt appearance, with unbrushed and uncut hair, as well as their apparent lack of knowledge about the world around them. Eder’s husband immediately contacted the authorities while she kept an eye on the boys.
During the court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Mallory Davis painted a grim picture of the conditions the boys had endured. The home was described as a terrible hoarding situation, with garbage piled so high that the floor was not visible. The children’s room, which was locked from the outside, was found smeared with feces. The stench of urine and feces permeated the entire house. Shockingly, all the windows had been boarded up, a detail that had gone unnoticed by neighbors.
The children were immediately taken into protective custody following the discovery of their dire living conditions. Authorities expressed deep concern for the boys’ well-being, stating that they had been severely damaged by their mother’s actions. The children, who are reportedly uneducated and not potty trained, face significant challenges in reintegrating into society.
According to authorities, Koch and the children had moved into Manke’s home approximately four years ago. Manke, who had been residing there since 2007, claimed that the boys had not attended school during their time with him. He also alleged that Koch had never taken them to see a doctor. Koch, on the other hand, stated that she homeschooled the children and admitted that the home was uninhabitable.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson expressed his deep concern over the distressing situation, emphasizing that no child should have to endure such conditions, especially at the hands of their own relatives.