Northlake couple charged after children found bound, blindfolded in Kansas Wal-Mart parking lot
June 14, 2012 (NORTHLAKE, Ill.) -- Parents from the Chicago suburbs were arrested in Kansas after two of their children were found tied up in their vehicle. Three other children were also found locked inside the car.Adolfo and Deborah Gomez, 52 and 43 respectively, of Northlake, Ill., are now charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of endangerment. Adolfo Gomez is also charged with a felony for resisting arrest
The family were on a trip to Arizona when their vehicle broke down in Lawrence, Kansas.
A customer at a Wal-Mart in Lawrence reported seeing one of the five children tied up outside the family's Chevy Silverado.
When police came to investigate, they found two children -- a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy -- with their hands tied behind their backs and blind-folded. Three other children were found inside the car -- two girls, ages 12 and 13, and a 15-year-old boy.
When police confronted Adolfo Gomez, he allegedly resisted arrest.
"The officer did get into a brief scuffle with him and while that individual was resisting arrest he was tased by the officer," said Sgt. Trent Mckinley, Lawrence Police Department.
Northlake neighbor Kathy Grotefend remembers seeing the family about two weeks ago during a garage sale and recalls a strange conversation with Deborah Gomez.
"I said, 'oh you're selling a lot of stuff,' and she said, she was reading her bible and she said, 'we don't need this stuff, we believe the end of the world is very, very soon.' She said, 'so we are selling everything because we don't need it," said Grotefend.
Teens Edgar Gomez and Melissa Dobry attend West Leyden High School with the family's oldest son, Jermiah Gomez, and say they had no idea what was going on inside their classmate's house.
"He never talked about anything about his home life," said Gomez. "He was actually fun to hang out with."
"I had health with him, he was always crazy and funny and stuff, always got into trouble didn't really care at all," said Dobry. "When I found out I was like, oh my God, because I just saw him."
The Gomez family, who neighbors say are very religious, was traveling from Northlake to Arizona. But their car broke down in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Lawrence, Kansas, and they had been living in their Chevy Silverado since earlier this week.
Residents say they knew the family had fallen on hard times.
"I know they had some issues because they had a sign outside, they were selling everything," said Rabaza. "Everything in the house has been selling for a couple weeks."
According to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, both parents were investigated in November 2011 for allegations of neglect. They received help and services from DCFS from December 2011 until April of this year.
The children are in protective custody.
local, diane pathieu
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