Neighborhood reacts to Wakulla couple abuse arrest

Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 8:07 PM EDT
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By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News

July 13, 2019

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) –Friday evening multiple law enforcement agencies arrested 58 year old Mirko Ceska and 55 year old Regina Ceska.

Mirko Ceska has been charged with sexual battery, sexual assault, abuse, and neglect.

Regina Ceska was arrested and charged with two Counts of Neglect and two counts of failure to report abuse.

Friday's arrests came about after two females, who the couple had adopted, escaped the home on June 28, and told authorities of their condition.

Officials say the couple were "doomsday" preppers and found large rations of food, survival items, and ammunition.

Th females told investigators that throughout the years they were sexually and physically abused. The women were socially isolated, used for labor, and not able to communicate with the outside world.

The news of the arrests and what happened behind closed doors, came as a shock to many residents living in the Crawfordville neighborhood.

Bryan Chatham, the couple's neighbor, said many in the area are now living in fear, "Even when you think you are in your safest element there is always the possibility of danger even when it is right next door and you don't even know."

Chatham shares that he along with others, seldom saw Mrs. Ceska or the daughters, "No that was kind of one thing that caught me that was strange to me I didn't even know that they had kids, I thought they lived there by themselves."

Other neighbors that preferred to not be on camera shared their experiences with the family.

"I have seen a van come out there a couple of times but I never met them or knew them period," expresses one man.

One woman shares that Mr. Ceska was known for having verbal altercations with others.

However, she also recounts that Ceska almost never left the property, unless in the van, "He would always come out to the gate and meet them, to me that would have been I sign I guess but I guess nobody thought anything about it, they just thought he was strange."

Chatham says while everyone was friendly in the neighborhood, they were the ones that you would see in passing, and only shares waves and "Hello's", "They were more of a standoffish kind of people they were not like the people that you felt you would be somebody that you would be going to their home and eating dinner and what not."

The reality of what was taking place, one female resident shares, is a tough one, "It makes me sick the idea that they had no contact with other people, they didn't have any phones, they didn't go to school, the way they were mistreated, that's inhumane that shouldn't happen to anybody."

Chatham says he is baffled, "It's really hard to wrap your mind around it it is, especially when it is this close to home."

One man mentions that from now on, they have to practice more caution, "Now my wife doesn't even want the grandkids to play in the front yard because we never knew something like that would be so close, so it's kind of a shocker."

"I feel so badly," expresses on woman, as she wishes she would have known, "because these girls I had no idea, I would have done something to help them if I had known they were there."

Now the neighborhood hopes to stay safe and that justice is served.

Officials say this investigation is still open.