State Officials Are Investigating Madison Abuse, Starvation Case

The state is investigating how Dane County handled complaints involving a Madison couple now charged with torturing and starving a 15-year-old girl.

The Feb. 23, 2012, letter from the state Department of Children and Families is addressed to Dane County Human Services Department Lynn Green. It notes the Division of Safety and Performance planned to inspect the case record and interview staff involved, per protocol after egregious incidents.

Green has previously said her staff followed protocols in the case.

There have been 10 reports of suspected neglect, sexual or physical abuse since 2006 involving the girl. Three are pending. Six others were unsubstantiated or didn’t meet the legal definition of abuse or neglect. A 1997 report of physical abuse was substantiated but the department hasn’t released what happened.

Meanwhile, the 15-year-old girl’s father, Chad Chritton, and stepmother, Melinda J. Drabek-Chritton, are due in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Prosecutors said that they will play a two-hour-long, taped interview that the victim had with Safe Harbor officials. Both sides are expected to have multiple witnesses during Tuesday’s hearing, and officials said the proceedings could take more than six hours.

Her parents were arrested last month after the girl was found starved and neglected.