Boy behind the wall
Not all relationships have a happy ending, and when love ends, children often pay the highest price. When parents decide to go their own way, children usually stay in the middle. Although this can be difficult for any child, we can witness a shocking and tragic story when parents do not resolve their differences in a civilized way.
This is exactly what happened when 5-year-old Richard Ricky Chekevdia disappeared more than two years after his own mother abducted him. Convinced that it was for the good of her son, she committed a crime and was eventually paid fairly for it.
Baby is born
The protagonist in our story, Richard Chekevdia, was born in 2002. His parents, Shannon Wilfong and Michael Chekevdia, met for a while when they got Ricky. Unfortunately, the couple decided to divorce before he was born.
A baby was born.
This was the beginning of a long battle for custody, which at first sight seemed the most likely solution in civil cases.
Shannon and Michael decided to share custody of their child, even though their relationship had ended with many serious disagreements. But for Ricky’s sake, they reconciled and agreed to joint custody.
The decision was the right one. The parents could put their differences aside for a while to ensure Ricky’s well-being. But it shouldn’t have taken long.
A soldier’s life
Michael served in the Illinois Army National Guard and was sent to Iraq shortly after Ricky was born. His debts to his country were admirable, but they would affect his ability to spend time with his son.
The life of a soldier
The service in Iraq meant he couldn’t see his son as often as he wanted, but he never missed an opportunity to visit Ricky every time he came home.
Keep Ricky away
Despite their initial agreement, Shannon started to keep Ricky away from Michael and overlooked that they had joint custody of their son. Michael couldn’t see his son as well as he wanted.
Keep Ricky away
After some time, Mikhail decided to ask the authorities for help and did what he thought was the only thing that would enable him to participate in his son’s life.
Steps to the right
Michael’s decision was to include Shannon in the trial and bring her to trial to get custody of her son. However, Shannon never went to court and Michael was given temporary custody of the child.
Despite the court’s decision, his victory in court will never lead to the actual custody of his son, at least not after another trial that awaits him in the future.
Disappearance of a baby
Michael didn’t expect Shannon’s actions in court to mean anything more terrible: Ricky’s disappearance. In November 2007 Michael realised that Shannon and Ricky were nowhere to be found.
The baby’s leaving.
At first Michael wasn’t sure what had happened and he did, or rather, he hoped that Ricky and Shannon would show up soon. But unfortunately, he was wrong.
Shortly after Michael noticed Ricky was missing, he and Shannon were put on the missing persons list. Michael suspected from the outset that Shannon was responsible for Ricky’s disappearance, a suspicion that was quickly confirmed by the authorities.
A month later, in December 2007, the authorities issued a warrant for Shannon’s arrest and went from missing person to wanted person.
Ricky’s father worked with the authorities to find all the places where Shannon might be and where she usually goes. The search was extended, but yielded no results. The boy and his mother were never found.
The search continues.
Michael began to lose hope and couldn’t imagine any place they could be. But one place in particular seemed to be a possible clue: Shannon’s mother’s house.
Meeting with Diana Dobbs
Diana Dobbs, Shannon’s mother, who was very close to her daughter, became the person who became interested in this shocking story. She had the authorities search her house, but it was for nothing – Ricky and Shannon are still missing.
This is Diana Dobbs.
But that’s not the end of Diana’s involvement in this particular case. She should be one of the main culprits in Ricky Checevdia’s disappearance.
Dealing with allegations of abuse
Shortly after Diana was questioned and her home was searched, she began accusing Michael of sexually abusing Ricky. She said that’s why her daughter didn’t want Michael to see her son.
The confrontation with accusations of abuse
She even put up signs in the garden and shared flyers in her neighborhood, accusing Michael of missing a lie-detector test about an alleged sexual assault.
Removal of charges
After these very serious accusations Michael reacted immediately and stated that he had never done or would never do anything to abuse his son. These accusations and the attacks on her character made Michael suspicious of Diana’s involvement in Ricky’s disappearance.
release from prosecution
It led him to believe that Diana knew where her son was and that she was protecting Shannon. So he decided to pay more attention to Diana and her house.
Michael thought Ricky was hidden and held somewhere in Diana’s house. He had no proof, but he was still convinced. Besides his intuition, there were suspicious things in Diana’s house that he soon noticed.
He said their windows were blocked by tight curtains or other objects, probably to prevent anyone from looking inside. But it wasn’t enough for the authorities to conduct a new search.
Time passed, but Ricky and Shannon were still missing. After all, it’s been two years since Michael last saw his son. It was clear to Michael that Shannon had Ricky hidden somewhere, but he couldn’t know where.
Time passed slowly.
His suspicions could not be taken as evidence and he feared that he would never see his son again. But his intuition was confirmed after an amazing turn of events.
After so many years without any information, the authorities received an anonymous tip in September 2007 that the police would carry out a new search of Diana’s house. It was a surprise for the authorities, but they felt there might be some truth in it.
A glimmer of hope
Although the tip was anonymous and somewhat vague, the police responded to the tip and visited the grandmother’s house in Franklin County where Diana lived with her fiancé.
Unlike previous searches of Diana’s house, police were now determined to find something that would lead them to Ricky’s whereabouts. For a moment it looked like the police would be empty-handed again, but that will change now.
There was a clue.
The police noticed a chest of drawers that was attached to the wall in an unusual way, as if it was meant to block something. They quickly started to move the sideboard.
Boy behind the wall
When the police emptied the dresser, there was a hole in the wall for them. The hole was about twelve feet long and five feet wide. The hole was also more than a meter high.
Boy behind the wall
When the police went into the hole in the wall, they immediately found Shannon and Ricky inside, hidden in plain sight. The end of the saga has finally come.
When Michael heard the news, he was shocked but apparently happy. I was skeptical at best about the possibility that something would happen. When they told me they found it, you could have hit me with a feather.
A positive surprise
Michael also stated that he had always believed that his son was being held in Diana’s house. At least he was sure Diana had something to do with it.
So close and yet so far.
The fact that Ricky was only three miles from Michael’s house seemed like a cruel joke to the boy’s father. Ricky was this close the whole time, but he couldn’t see him or talk to him. It was disappointing, especially because he suspected this turn of events.
So close and yet so far away.
He explained how this process affected him in many ways – two years? You have no idea… I haven’t slept. I lost weight. I’ve arrived. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
One case closed, another open
When the boy was brought to safety, the police arrested Diana, her fiancé and Shannon. Everyone was relieved to see what Ricky had finally found, especially the cops on the lookout – all except Shannon and Diana.
One case closed, one open.
The case of the missing child ended when Ricky was found, but authorities now face child abuse charges against Shannon and her mother.
What about Ricky?
According to Illinois State Police Chief Sergeant Stan Diggs, who was on the scene at the time, Ricky was happy to be on the street. We let him get out of the car and he ran away like he’d never seen her on the street before. Actually, it was very sad.
What about Ricky?
Sergeant Diggs was surprised Ricky was in a good mood. For someone who is isolated in this house with no other outsider, he is a very social, very polite, very talkative little boy.
has not yet convened.
While Ricky felt good and happy, his appearance showed that he was seriously neglected. He was thin and looked pretty pale because he wasn’t allowed in the sun at all. Still, the boy was glad he finally got out.
I’m not together yet.
Ricky was immediately placed with family in South Illinois, and now Michael had to wait until his son was officially taken into custody. After two years of waiting, the end of his trials was not yet in sight.
System at work
Michael was relieved to hear that his son was still alive and doing a good job, but he was also happy to see Ricky under his care again. Nevertheless, he knew the procedure to follow and was willing to wait for him.
The system at work
he said: It’s hard to sit and look at things when you’re used to it. But I just offered my time and let the system work.
The authorities continued their investigation and discovered that the famous hole in the wall was only one of many hiding places in Diana’s house. Some contain a hole in the floor and another similar hole in the wall.
All these new discoveries prove that the kidnapping was carefully planned, although Diana later claimed that the hole in the wall was already present when she bought the house.
Protection of their shares
Diana Dobbs insisted that her actions were to protect Ricky and that the boy hid in a pit for maybe five minutes two years later. She said the kid’s very smart and Ricky’s going to Shannon.
To defend your actions
She said she was surprised that her neighbors claim they’ve never seen Ricky since he was admitted, Diana said.
Dobbs went even further in her defense when she interviewed Good Morning, America. She said that her grandson was often outside, fishing, helping out in the garden, etc. She also said her grandson was often outside. On the 4th. In July we had a fireworks show.
She insisted that she had done nothing wrong and that her only goal was to protect the child. But the authorities didn’t see it that way.
Despite their acquittal, Dobbs and her fiancé were accused of complicity and Shannon was accused of child abduction. It is therefore not surprising that the court has now been instructed to order both punishment and custody of the child.
Face to face with the accusations
Still, Dobbs stuck to his earlier claims that Michael had abused his son in the course of the case. There’s never been a thorough investigation. That’s what this family wants.
Sorting of correspondence
Shannon was later brought up with the extra costs of neglect because Ricky was not allowed to see a doctor, go to school and eventually lead a normal life like other children. The charge of negligence allowed him to receive a longer sentence.
Battle of the Court
The trial lasted 4 months, during which witnesses exchanged information that the boy was only allowed to go out at night, despite the testimony of the boy’s grandmother, who said he went out during the day.
guilty of crimes
After four months in court, Shannon and Diane both pleaded guilty to the charges. With overwhelming evidence against her and the possibility of severe imprisonment for Shannon, a confession was the logical conclusion of the trial.
In the end, Shannon was sentenced to a month in prison and a fine of $1,500 plus two years suspended imprisonment. Dobbs was sentenced to 12 days in prison and fined $1,000.
The judge gave Michael full custody of Ricky, while Shannon was allowed access to the court. After years Michael finally got the chance to take care of Ricky. He didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
Ricky and Michael finally got back together, and they wanted to spend as much time outside as possible – climbing, swimming, hiking, etc. – and that’s what they did.
More than ten years have passed since these events and the protagonist in this drama is doing well. Ricky is now in high school, and with his father’s help, he has been able to become a full member of society.
Handsome young man.
Ricky grew up a lot under his father’s care, and today he is a great young man who takes part in various sports and other social activities just like a regular high school student.
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