Police have accused a Winnebago County couple, Christopher Williams, 47, and Kathryn Williams, 49, of attempting to kill and disfigure their two children through a series of unnecessary medical treatments, and taking advantage of charity organizations to receive benefits, such as an all-expense paid trip to Disney and a new family dog.
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said in a press conference on Thursday that an investigation into the Williamses began August 20th, 2018, when a report of child abuse was made by DCFS.
Last year, the couple’s two children, a girl, 13, and boy, 11, were nominees for the Steven R. Stiles Courage award from the Healing Dreams Foundation. To be a nominee for the award, the two children were said to have a long history of illnesses, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, a brain tumor, celiac disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, mitocondrial disease, a blood stream infection, encephalopathy (toxicity of the brain), hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), and a host of other medical conditions.
Detectives from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office followed up on the complaint by DCFS — which was made following the parents demands hospice care for the children — and executed a search warrant on August 30th, along with the assistance of physicians from Mercyhealth hospital.
According to court documents, the couple intentionally reported false medical symptoms and diagnosis to medical personnel, in order to have medical treatments performed which would have ultimately proved fatal to the children.
The 25 page indictment alleges that the couple confined the 11-year-old boy to a bed and wheelchair when it wasn’t necessary, causing permanent damage to his tendons and ability to walk.
In the case of the 13-year-old girl, the State alleges that the Williamses gave her medication which caused the child’s growth to be permanently stunted for life.
The indictment says the couple obtained unnecessary medical procedures for the kids, forcing them children to rely on surgically attached ileostomy bags, feeding tubes, catheters, and the illegal administration of drugs, which later caused the children to experience withdrawal.
The couple is also accused of using the children’s alleged conditions to scam an all-expense paid trip to Disney and a dog from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The couple was indicted Wednesday and charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery to a child less than 13 years old, permanent disability, aggravated domestic battery, reckless conduct, causing a child to be injured, and theft by deception between $500 and $10,000.
The couple was booked into the Winnebago County Jail on a $1 million bond.