Susan Wiley/Oshkosh Article

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Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), 17 Nov 1970, page 1 "Could Have Been Normal" "Parents Are Arrested for Retarding Child"

Arcadia, Calif (UPI) — Susan Wiley, 13, is deformed, unable to talk, wears diapers and has the mental capacity of an infant.

But if she could have led a normal life, doctors said Monday, there would be no medical reason for her retardation.

Susan's parents, Clark Wiley, 70, and his wife Irene, 50, were arrested Monday and charged with keeping the girl a prisoner in their home for almost her whole life.

Susan was taken to Children's Hospital in nearby Los Angeles, where a spokesman said she had a chance to become a normal teen-ager. Corrective therapy was expected to take two years.

Police Sgt. Bill Culbertson said Susan lived in almost total confinement in her room the past 13 years and had almost no contact with the outside world.

The girl's plight was discovered by a social worker who visited the home. Miss Lurene Albert, office director of the County Department of Public Social Services, said the family applied for welfare aid and an eligibility worker was sent to their home.

The worker saw the girl during that visit and reported it to authorities last Tuesday when an investigation was begun.

Culbertson said the girl apparently suffered from malnutrition for years. He said it was learned that she was fed only twice a day, with a diet consisting of warm cereal, milk, honey and an occasional egg.

Wiley was freed on $1250 bond. His wife remained in custody. They are specifically charged with willful cruelty toward a child, a felony.

Doctors said Susan appeared to have the physical development but mentally she apparently never progressed beyond the infant stage.

She spent so much time in a seated position that her leg muscles were deformed. Authorities said she walked with an uncertain, shuffling gait.

Except for occasionally sitting on the front porch of the modest two-bedroom home or walking in the yard, Susan spent all her life inside the house, said Sgt. Frank Linley of the sheriff's juvenile detail.

Linley said neighbors described the Wileys as a strange family who "kept very much to themselves."

Authorities said they knew of no motive for the confinement.

"I've been asking myself that question for a week now," Linley said.

The Wiley's, neither of whom has a police record, were to be arraigned Friday morning. A son John, 18, was sent to live with his grandparents following the arrest of his parents.

— Transcribed Apr 2008, from the original image, by Will Johnson, wjhonson@aol.com, Professional Genealogist

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