Louisiana Family Forced Woman to Eat Her Mother's Ashes for More Than a Year
AMITE, LOUISIANA — July 30, 2018
A family of five is charged for holding an autistic woman captive. According to the New Orleans' federal court documents, they forced her to eat dog feces and her mother's ashes, attempted sex trafficking and beat her on numerous occasions.
It began with after the death of woman's mother, when the 22-year-old had moved to a mobile home at 57509 Rushing Lane in August of 2015. D.P. is related to Raylaine Knope. According to the court documents, her name is D.P.
Terry Knope became the payee for D.P.'s Supplemental Security Income payments, which she received because of her disabilities. Before his arrest, he had received $8,796 in SSI payments that he was supposed to use exclusively for D.P.'s living expenses. Prosecutors allege he kept the money for himself.
The Knope family initially allowed D.P. Asleep on a mattress on the floor of the home, but then moved her to a shed or outdoor tent, where Taylor Knope and Jody Lambert locked every night. In the spring of 2016, the family then built a cage out of chicken wire and a plastic tarp, forcing her to live there.
They kept her there "to maintain control over her and to prevent her from escaping" while they forced her to do house and yard work.
If she didn't complete the work to their satisfaction, Raylaine Knope and Terry Knope would refuse her food, and others members of the family would be kicked her or threw canned goods at her.
Once Raylaine Knope dumped an urn of her mother's ashes into a bowl of milk and forced her to eat it with a spoon. The family watched and laughed as she then vomited onto the table.
Several times, family members beat a woman on the head with a wood board until they're bloody. Then they refused to take her to a doctor because they were afraid someone would find out they were abusing her, so a family member used glue to close the wound.
Terry Knope shot D.P. with a pellet gun at close range on another occasion because of her disability, telling her she was a "retard" who "deserved to die." Or somebody could be burned her hand with a cigarette lighter, or hit her hand with a hammer, fracturing multiple bones.
In addition, family members held her head underwater in a bathtub, threatened to shoot her if she tried to escape, and dumped buckets of urine and feces on her.
They also forced her to eat dog feces on bread, simulate sex acts with a jalapeno pepper and removed her clothing to make sexual advances towards men. Some of the family members forced the woman to ingest methamphetamine and prescription painkillers, and then threatened to turn her into police for using them if she didn't work for them.
As it turned out, during that time, the woman was being sought by police for the pay taxes, when she lived at another location. When the police came to her new place, they accidentally found her in a shed in inhuman conditions and without basic care. She was malnourished, covered in insect bites and living in a 6-by-8-foot chicken-wire cage.
After her rescue, the woman was taken to a hospital and then later was put into the custody of the Louisiana Department of Health’s Adult Protective Services. Deputies also removed four minor children from the home and placed them with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
The Knope family, among them Raylaine Knope, 42, and Terry J. Knope II, 45, who is married, and their three adult children — 21-year-old Bridget Lambert and 23-year-old Jody Lambert, the children of Raylaine Knope, and 20-year-old Taylor Knope, the daughter of Terry Knope were arrested.
Raylaine Knope was charged by a federal grand jury on conspiring to obtain forced labor, forced labor, using force and threats of force to interfere with federal Fair Housing Act rights, and attempted sex trafficking.
Terry Knope was charged on conspiring to obtain forced labor, forced labor, using force and threats of force. Jody Lambert, 23, and Taylor Knope, 20, were charged too on conspiring to obtain forced labor, forced labor, and using force and threats of force.
Bridget Lambert, 21, was separately charged in a one-count Bill of Information on conspiring to obtain forced labor, which has a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
According to the Department of Justice's press release, they all could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if convicted as charged. And what's interesting about it is possible that a woman is upheld large fine for non-payment of taxes.