Counselor: Fear kept Cape Coral kids from speaking out against foster parents

Reporter: Corey Lazar
Published: Updated:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – The Spurgeon home is empty after a couple was arrested and is facing multiple charges of aggravated child abuse.

But the stories of their 10 adopted and foster children remain.

Janise Spurgeon, 52, is out of jail on bond while her husband Daniel Spurgeon, 47, is still in jail where he is accused of child molestation.

One teenage girl who once lived with the Spurgeons said she spoke with girls who lived in the home up until the moment they were taken into protective custody. Those girls told her the Spurgeons threatened them, telling them to stay quiet about the abuse and living conditions inside the home.

When inspectors came to the house every month, the children were allowed to speak only with the Spurgeon’s supervision, the teenager said.

Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor, said the 10 children involved in allegations against the Spurgeons may have been afraid to come forward.

“It’s just always hard to come forward with these types of things. It’s utterly mortifying,” she said.

Case workers need to try to be more observant, according to Streyffeler.

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