Adoptive couple is accused of locking children in basement - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Adoptive couple is accused of locking children in basement


While the Iowa Department of Human Services is investigating allegations that an Ankeny couple locked their children in a basement anytime they were not in school for a three to four week period, one of the biological parents wants her child back.

Earlier this week, Paul Drake, 45, and JoAnn Drake, 44, were each charged with two counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person and two counts of false imprisonment.

The Ankeny couple is accused of locking their children in a basement anytime they were not in school for a three to four week period.

Neighbors told KCCI that  Neighbors said the adopted teenagers were out of control and the Drakes were out of options when they locked their two adopted teenagers in a furnished lower level of their home.
Meanwhile, one of the biological parents worries that this has been going on for a long time.

June Simpson says her daughter first told her about the abuse shortly after she went to live with her adoptive family, but no one would listen to those claims.

June says four years ago was the last time she was allowed to speak with her daughter, Savannah.

That's when Savannah told her something was wrong.

"She was not allowed to eat," Simpson said. "Not allowed to eat her meal, not allowed to sleep in her bed, made to sleep on the floor and pushed down the stairs…It makes me wonder how long and how bad and what's happened in between these last four years."

June says she tried to tell the judge what was going on back then; but DHS and the courts wouldn't listen.

"Me and my ex-husband we definitely failed her, But DHS has failed her, the court system failed her," Simpson said. "Everyone who is supposed to protect her has basically failed her."

June says she's contacted an attorney to see if she can get Savannah back.

She says DHS has had home visits and now approves of her home as a safe place for children.

DHS was unable to comment.

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