crimesider

Mom Doesn't Regret Stuffing Son in Wall

(Family Photo)
Photo: Richard Chekevdia

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. (CBS/AP) A woman who authorities say kidnapped her son then kept him hidden in a wall at her mother's home says her actions were "completely justified."

Photos: The Boy Behind the Wall.

Ricky Chekevdia and his mother, 30-year-old Shannon Wilfong, vanished in November 2007.

(Franklin County Sheriffs Office)
Photo: Shannon Wilfong.

They were found Sept. 4, hiding in a small crawl space at Ricky's grandmother Diane Dobbs' two-story home by police who were responding to a tip.

Wilfong told ABC station WSIL on Wednesday the system wronged her so she had to take action.

"This system failed me," said Wilfong. "I did what I did to protect Ricky and I am totally innocent and I love my son very much."

Dobbs said Monday that authorities haven't fully investigated allegations that Ricky's father, Mike Chekevdia, sexually abused him.

Chekevdia has rejected allegations of abuse, as did state child-welfare officials. "I absolutely have no concerns about the father," Jan McGraw, a state child-protection supervisor, testified at an earlier hearing.

"...I know that I'm completely justified to everything that I've done," Wilfong told the station.

She said she doesn't plan to plead guilty.

For now, Ricky is a ward of the state staying with a relative of his father. A court hearing is scheduled on the boy's living arrangements.

Authorities have said the boy, who turns 7 on Sept. 14, was in good spirits and physically fit.


Photos: The Boy Behind the Wall.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
September 9, 2009 - Boy in the Wall: Father Speaks Out
September 8, 2009 - Photos: The Boy Behind the Wall
September 7, 2009 - Boy Found in Secret Room at Grandma's
  • Edecio Martinez

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