A 14-year-old girl, Rachel*, was starved, imprisoned, and tortured by her family members, married couple Wesley and Sherry Keen (pictured). Rachel was homeschooled.
Shortly after the Keens became Rachel’s caretakers in early 2017, they withdrew her from school to homeschool her and began keeping her in a padlocked room where she had no food, water, or bathroom access for much of the day. Rachel’s neighborhood friend, Madison Brennan, reported that she tried to visit but was told by the Keens that Rachel was not available. Rachel was only let out for dinner each day. Wesley Keen beat her with a belt buckle and tortured her by breaking her fingers and teeth. She was forced to write “I do as I’m told or get punished” almost 3,000 times. When she was rescued, Rachel weighed only 70 pounds.
The abuse came to light when one of Rachel’s relatives, most likely Wesley Keen’s mother Hazel Byrd, grew concerned that she hadn’t seen Rachel in awhile and called the authorities for a welfare check. Authorities found the padlock on Rachel’s door and removed her from the Keens’ custody. Wesley Keen pleaded guilty to assault, malicious wounding, child abuse, and abduction, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sherry Keen pleaded guilty to child abuse and abduction and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
*Rachel is a pseudonym.
Date: April 23, 2018
Location: Vinton, Bedford County, Virginia