Ill. judge: Mom's hiding of boy amounts to neglect

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 5:37 PM

A judge in southern Illinois says the hiding of a boy for nearly two years in a crawl space in his grandmother's home during a custody fight amounts to neglect.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Melissa Drew ruled Friday after a counselor reported that the now 7-year-old boy had post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the seclusion.

The child's mother, Shannon Wilfong, hid him at her mother's home. Wilfong has pleaded not guilty to felony abduction. She declined to testify at Friday's custody hearing.

The boy is now in the temporary custody of an unnamed relative. His father Michael Chekevdia (cheh-KEHV'-duh), is seeking custody.

Drew could determine custody arrangements at a Jan. 8 hearing.