Northlake man to be sentenced after kids found tied

May 23, 2013 5:35:39 AM PDT
A June sentencing date has been scheduled for a suburban Chicago man who was arrested after two of his children were found bound and blindfolded in a Wal-Mart parking lot in eastern Kansas.

Adolfo Gomez, 53, and his wife, Deborah Gomez, of Northlake, Ill., were arrested last June 13 in Lawrence. Police reported finding two of their children, ages 5 and 7, bound by their hands and feet in the store parking lot.

Adolfo Gomez pleaded no contest to felony child abuse and child endangerment. The Lawrence Journal-World reports he's scheduled to be sentenced June 19. A plea agreement between prosecutors and Gomez's previous attorney specified a 30-month prison sentence.

Deborah Gomez was sentenced earlier to one year of probation after pleading no contest to child endangerment.

The family were on a trip to Arizona when their vehicle broke down in Lawrence, Kansas.

A customer at a Wal-Mart in Lawrence reported seeing one of the five children tied up outside the family's Chevy Silverado.

When police came to investigate, they found two children -- a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy -- with their hands tied behind their backs and blind-folded. Three other children were found inside the car -- two girls, ages 12 and 13, and a 15-year-old boy.

When police confronted Adolfo Gomez, he allegedly resisted arrest.

"The officer did get into a brief scuffle with him and while that individual was resisting arrest he was tased by the officer," said Sgt. Trent Mckinley, Lawrence Police Department.

Northlake neighbor Kathy Grotefend said she remembers seeing the family about two weeks prior during a garage sale and recalls a strange conversation with Deborah Gomez.

"I said, 'Oh you're selling a lot of stuff,' and she said, she was reading her Bible and she said, 'We don't need this stuff, we believe the end of the world is very, very soon.' She said, 'So we are selling everything because we don't need it,'" said Grotefend.

Teens Edgar Gomez and Melissa Dobry attend West Leyden High School with the family's oldest son and say they had no idea what was going on inside their classmate's house.

"He never talked about anything about his home life," said Edgar Gomez. "He was actually fun to hang out with."

"I had health with him, he was always crazy and funny and stuff, always got into trouble didn't really care at all," said Dobry. "When I found out I was like, 'Oh my God,' because I just saw him."

Residents say they knew the family had fallen on hard times.

"I know they had some issues because they had a sign outside, they were selling everything," said Rabaza. "Everything in the house has been selling for a couple weeks."

According to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, both parents were investigated in November 2011 for allegations of neglect. They received help and services from DCFS from December 2011 until April of this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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