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Documents: 'Doomsday prepper' couple in Wakulla County tried to find victims before their arrest

Posted: 5:54 PM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-16 18:02:42-04
Two people arrested for physically, sexually abusing victims for years in Wakulla County.png

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — An arrest document is detailing what led the Wakulla County Sheriff's office to arrest a 'doomsday prepper' couple for physically assaulting and raping two women.

Mirko Ceska, 58, and Regina Ceska, 55, were arrested by the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office last week after accusations that they physically and sexually abused two women in their home.

On July 1, the Wakulla County Sheriff's office initiated a sexual battery investigation. The victims, who were adopted by the Ceskas when they were 11 years old, told deputies that the couple physically and emotionally abused them for several years.

They also stated that Mirko Ceska had sexually abused them on multiple occasions for the last six years. The victims described Mirko and Regina as 'doomsday preppers' who had getaway properties throughout the country and food rations and weapons stored in the event of a major calamity. According to the arrest report, WCSO is working to locate and identify all of the Ceskas' properties.

The victims stated they had been trained to raise pigs, raise sheep, grow various fruits and vegetables, sheer sheep, utilize a loom, and sew. They also told deputies that they were used as farm labor and began each day at 5:30 a.m.

The victims said they were not allowed to go anywhere, couldn't have friends, couldn't have cell phones or talk to people in public places. They stated they were not allowed to agree, talk or shake hands with anyone in public, but they were told to always look happy and if they didn’t smile, they would get punished.

They described a variety of punishments to deputies including verbal abuse, restricting their food intake, and beatings with the most recent beating reportedly done by Mirko with a metal rod before they made their escape.

"The victims stated they were able to 'escape' by sneaking out of the home on Sunday, July 1st 2019, following a domestic disturbance wherein Mirko Ceska beat [redacted] with a metal rod," investigators wrote.

After the woman escaped on July 1, deputies say the couple issued a missing person’s report for them and constantly checked in with the sheriff’s office, even after they were informed that the women were located and didn't wish to have contact. The report states that the Ceskas were "upset" and began visiting businesses where the victims previously worked in an attempt to find them.

Documents say a Children's Home Society case coordinator interviewed the victims on July 2, though the details on those interviews are redacted from the arrest report. After WCSO investigators reviewed the interviews, they contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to get warrants to search an undisclosed property and the Ceska's van.

The arrest report notes that during the days following the women's escape, the Ceskas continued to visit the victims' former jobs and leave voicemails for the sheriff's office several times asking about their whereabouts.

"Mirko and Regina stated that the victims were 'disabled' and unable to adequately care for themselves," investigators wrote. In one visit to one of the victim's former jobs the afternoon of July 3, the Ceskas approached the business staff and asked where the victims were. During the encounter, deputies say Mirko commented that the victims were picked up by 'a black guy and a Mexican.'

That same day, the victims, who were scared they would be found and killed, were moved to an undisclosed location paid for by the Wakulla County Sheriff's office and "anonymous donors." They were given alias names and instructed to talk to no one outside law enforcement. Documents say watch orders were also placed on several undisclosed addresses in multiple counties.

When investigators met with the victims, they provided them with condoms as evidence.

The following day, Mirko contacted one of the victim's former bosses, asking if the victims had 'said anything bad' about them in the community. During the conversation, Mirko told the victim's former boss that if they did say anything bad, 'it wasn't true' and to 'not believe them.'

From July 4 up until the day they were arrested, the Ceskas continued calling the sheriff's office and the victims' former jobs. The arrest report details one instance the day before their arrest in which the couple went to one of the victim's former jobs. According to the staff, the couple aggressively drove their car into the business and got out of the car.

"Mirko began yelling, wanting to know why the sheriff's office wanted to speak with him," documents state. "The staff informed Mirko that they did not know what was going on. The staff then asked Mirko why he was so concerned. Mirko and Regina left shortly thereafter."

On Friday, July 12, WCSO met with Regina and Mirko at the sheriff's office while a search warrant was executed on their home.

During the search, deputies found condoms in the couple's bedroom that matched the brand and color of the ones the victims' turned over as evidence, 28 guns to include guns that were hidden between stairs and dry walls in the home, 10 cases of ammunition, pregnancy tests, handwritten letters and homemade videos. Investigators also discovered that the Ceskas had developed a self-sustaining property fit for surviving "off of the grid.'

In one of the homemade videos, investigators say the victims could be seen opening Christmas presents that appeared to be "provocative undergarments," while the Ceskas were seen and heard throughout the video. Investigators note that the victims previously stated that Santa Clause was real and provided letters from 'Santa' as evidence.

In the letters the victims provided to investigators, deputies said, "'Santa' provides various reasons why he doesn't visit their house each year to include the fact that they 'don't obey' [redacted] and they should honor [redacted] more."

Documents say the second homemade video depicted Mirko in his undergarments yelling at one of the victims while holding a food wrapper. The video showed an event where Mirko had his face very close to both victims’ faces and was screaming that they had stolen food.

"The video appeared to zoom in on [redacted] face multiple times throughout the recording," investigators wrote. "It is believed (based on audio) that Regina Ceska was the operator of the camera." Arrest documents also note that a search of Mirko's phone, which appeared to be activated two days before the search, revealed search histories for "incestuous pornographic videos."

After reviewing the case, detectives wrote that they observed several factors that made the circumstances more dire.

"WCSO Detectives and agencies involved felt the victims were at high risk of being harmed and/or killed," investigators wrote.

Back at the sheriff's office, deputies say the Ceskas invoked their Miranda Rights before answering any questions in their interviews, so deputies arrested them.

When deputies did an inventory search of Mirko, they discovered he had several cards belonging to the victims on his person to include their ID's and insurance cards, which were seized. When deputies searched Regina, they also found cards belonging to the victims in her purse as well as cellphones and a personal ID card indicating that she has been a licensed practical nurse in Florida since 1994.

The pair were then transported to the Wakulla County Jail. Mirko is being charged with two counts of sexual battery by a familial or custodial authority, sexual assault, aggravated battery, and battery. Regina is being charged with two counts of neglect of a disabled adult and two counts of failure to report abuse.

On Monday, a Wakulla County judge granted pre-trial release to Regina Ceska because she's only being charged with 2nd degree misdemeanors. Regina Ceska will have to wear a GPS monitor and she can't contact the victims or her co-defendant, her husband Mirko Ceska.

Mirko Ceska, who's still in jail because his attorney wasn't available to make it to court, will be back in court Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.