A North Florida couple planning for Armageddon has been arrested after two victims escaped their house of horrors. The victims told the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) that Mirko Ceska, 58, and Regina Ceska, 55 had enslaved them as laborers for years and that they were forced to endure verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.
The Crawfordville couple was taken into custody on July 12, 2019. 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. Both were booked into the Wakulla County Jail.
The sheriff’s report only identifies the two victims as females and does not provide their names, age or relationship to the Ceskas. The Cesko’s were described by authorities as having “custodial responsibility” for both victims.
The Ceskas were arrested at their home at 251 Lonnie Raker Lane in Crawfordville, a community of approximately 3,700 residents. The city is located approximately 25 miles south of Tallahassee, near the Gulf of Mexico.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mirko and Regina Ceska.
1. The Two Females Were Used as Farm Laborers
On July 1, two females sought help from the sheriff’s office. Both stated they had escaped from the Ceska’s property on June 28 after withstanding years of mistreatment. They told detectives the Ceska’s were “Doomsday Preppers,” with several “getaway” properties across the country.
The Ceskas had stockpiles of food, supplies, and weapons in the “event of a major calamity,” the sheriff’s office Facebook post read.
The victims told authorities they were used by the Ceskas as farm laborers and woke up each morning at 5:30 a.m. to begin their work. They were taught to raise pigs and sheep, grow fruits and vegetables, use a loom, and sew.
2. The Females Said They Were Sexually Assaulted with Regina Ceska’s Support
Detectives learned Mirko Ceska had sexually assaulted both victims, and in some cases, with the support of Regina Ceska.
The two females were not to go anywhere, speak with any member of the public, use cell phones, or have friends. They were also not permitted to agree or shake hands with anyone but were told they must look happy when they were out in public with the Ceskas and would be punished if they didn’t smile.
“This is so sad! I seen (sic) them a couple times at my old job and I thought they were just raised to follow their (so it seemed to be) dad around,” Kaycee Nicole Britt wrote on the sheriff’s Facebook page.
“It always seemed weird how they would walk like 2 feet behind him.. anywhere he went they went. I always thought something strange was going on but never this.. wish I coulda helped them out sooner,” she added.
The Ceskos would withhold food from both victims, who also received regular verbal and physical abuse from the couple.
The most recent beating came from Mirko Ceska, who used a metal rod to beat one of the victims. “Detectives noted marks and bruises on the female’s back and arm,” the statement read.
3. Authorities Found Stockpiled Food, Supplies And “High Quality” Firearms
When the sheriff’s office, detectives, members of the North Star Multijurisdictional Drug Task Force, and Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) executed a search warrant at the residence, they seized “high quality” firearms, ammunition, food rations, and survivalist gear. “Some of the firearms were hidden behind false walls or a staircase,” the sheriff’s office said.
Inside the home there was a video of Mirko Ceska “up close” to both victims’ faces, screaming that they had stolen food.
Authorities also discovered a search history for an incestuous video on Mirko Ceska’s phone.
4. The Ceska’s Spoke With the Governor About Their Two Adopted Daughters
While the identity of the two females has not been disclosed, in 2009, Mirko and Regina Ceska made headlines when they met with former Florida Governor Charlie Crist to discuss foster care reform.
Crist was set to declare July 22 “Explore Adoption Day,” however, the Ceska’s took the opportunity to implore the governor to stop the use of psychotropic drugs given to children in state care. Psychotropic drugs are any medications that alter a person’s mental state. They may modify a person’s mood, decrease anxiety or be used for sedation.
The Ceska’s told Crist that after they adopted their two 12-year-old girls from the state the year before, each was taking 11 pills daily, including a powerful anti-psychotic called Seroquel. “These girls were overdosed and would fall asleep right in front of us several times a day,” Mirko Ceska said.
The Cesko’s said they had to wean their daughters off of their prescribed psychiatric meds. “It seems to be a prerequisite for foster children to be on medication,” Mirko Ceska said. “So many are on psychotropic drugs,” he added.
According to the Miami Herald, Regina Ceska told the governor she was a nurse and said she and her husband had found a “shocking” number of children in the foster care system were medicated with Seroquel, a drug she said should not be used on children.
“This is, in my profession, considered a chemical restraint,” she said.
The Cesko’s statements to Governor Crist about the drugs their daughters had received came at a critical time. The Florida Department of Children and Families was reviewing the case of Gabriel Myers, a 7-year-old boy who hanged himself in the shower while in foster care. Myers exhibited destructive behavior after being placed in several different foster homes. Psychiatrists recommended psychotropic drugs and counseling to correct his behavior.
After speaking with the governor, former head of the Department of Children and Families George Sheldon approached the Ceskos and asked them to testify in Tampa before a working group tasked with reviewing Myers’ suicide. The working group was also going to look at creating legislation that would provide tighter control over the psychotropic drugs given to children in the foster care system.
It’s not known if the Ceskas submitted testimony as requested.
5. Regina Ceska is a Licensed Practical Nurse
Records with the Florida Department of Health show that Regina Ceska is licensed as a practical nurse under the name “Regina Anna-Marie N Ceska.” Her license was first issued on June 3, 1991, and is active through 2021.
Regina Ceska has no known record of complaints or disciplinary actions listed with the health department.
The address listed on her license, 1650 Phillips Road, Tallahassee, is the address for Consulate Health Care of Tallahassee. The facility describes itself as a “national leading provider of senior healthcare services.”
There is no information about Mirko Ceska’s work history, other than an affiliation in the 1990s with the Strauss Gallery, a home decor store in Tallahassee.
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