DCFS drops bid to check on murder suspect’s child
By Janet Lundquist Sun-Times Media July 23, 2013 7:24PM
Updated: August 25, 2013 6:40AM
The state’s child welfare agency has dropped its bid for a court-ordered well-being check on the daughter of a Shorewood woman charged in a gruesome Joliet double murder earlier this year.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services wanted the court to let the agency into the home of Bethany McKee’s parents, where her young daughter now lives.
McKee, 19, is among four people charged in the January stranglings of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins. Also charged in the case are Joshua Miner, Adam Landerman and Alissa Massaro, all of Joliet.
Since McKee’s arrest in January, her daughter has been living with Bethany McKee’s parents, Teresa and William McKee. DCFS wanted to inspect where the girl was living after receiving information on its hotline that William McKee is a convicted sex offender.
Will County Judge Paula Gomora said at a hearing last month that the agency did not present any indication that the girl’s safety was in jeopardy. Gomora told an attorney for DCFS to refile a petition that included more information to back up their request.
On Tuesday, citing Gomora’s previous opposition to their request, an attorney for the agency said the state would abandon its petition and the case would be stricken.
The night of her arrest in Kankakee, Bethany McKee had her young daughter with her, a fact verified by a Kankakee police squad car video obtained by The Herald-News showing McKee asking an officer to give her daughter to her parents.
William McKee pleaded guilty in November 1995 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, admitting to a Will County judge that he fondled a girl under the age of 13. He told The Herald-News that he was innocent of that charge and only agreed to a plea deal because he got bad legal advice.
The family had opposed the agency’s request for an in-home well-being check because DCFS has investigated the McKee family multiple times over the years, Teresa McKee told The Herald-News. Every time, the allegations were unfounded, she said.