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Grandma: Boy found hidden had own room

September 7, 2009 2:32:01 PM PDT
A woman from southern Illinois is facing charges for allegedly hiding her grandson for almost two years.But Diane Dobbs says the 6-year-old boy did not live behind a wall in her home in downstate Marion.

Hobbs, who is out on bond after being charged with aiding and abetting, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she did what she had to do to keep the boy safe.

Investigators say Richard Chekevdia was kept in a make-shift compartment no larger than a washing machine. Acting on a tip, investigators found the boy and his mother, Shannon Wilfong, huddled in a hidden crawlspace, one of several hiding places in the house.

However, Dobbs says the boy had his own room and had the run of the house.

The child's father was awarded custody two years ago. Richard and his mother vanished in November 2007. Hobbs says authorities never fully investigated abuse allegations against Ricky's father and she hid him to protect him.

Wilfong has been charged with felony child abduction.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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