Moment emaciated Twins from Texas get away from their horrifyingly abusive mother.
The 15-year-olds escaped after being handcuffed, starved, beaten, forced to eat their own waste, and tortured for months.
Court records show that two malnourished teens in Texas broke out of their handcuffs at home this week. One of them found the key in his mother’s purse and put it in his mouth until it was safe to leave.
The boy and girl twins, who were 15 years old, said that they had been handcuffed in a laundry room. According to court documents filed in Harris County, the boy who found the key to the restraints said that they waited to get away until their mother and her boyfriend were asleep.
Court records say that at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, deputies from the Harris County Constable Precinct 5 office were called to a home in Cypress where the teens had run away.
“The twins had bruises all over their bodies, were barefoot, and were only partly dressed. The siblings said they were starving, according to the court records.
The documents say that their mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, 27, abused them for months starting in July.
The constable’s office says the teens were abused by being forced to drink bleach or having oven cleaner sprayed in their mouths if “they talked too much.” They were also burned by having bleach poured on their skin, including their genitalia. Court records show that the teens were also hit with extension cords, curtain rods, and metal poles.
According to the records, there is a good chance that Duncan will be charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on a family member after a previous conviction for aggravated assault on a family member.
The court records said that Terrell could be charged with continuing to hurt his family.
A neighbor who helped them after they asked for help told KPRC 2 about the sad case.
The Ring doorbell camera shows the twins standing on their neighbor’s doorstep and begging for help.
“She had on a hooded sweatshirt. She took off her hoodie and showed me the handcuffs. She said, “We just got away,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named.
She talked about the moment when the kids came to her house.
“They started ringing the doorbell around 5:20 or 5:24,” she said.
After the twins told her what their mother had supposedly done, the woman let them in and called 911.
“She was shaking, and she said, ‘My mom locked us up in the laundry room,'” a neighbor said.
The neighbor said that it was clear that the children had been abused.
“On his arm, there are just scratches and bumps. “Both of their wrists were very badly scarred,” she said.
Trying to find answers
A spokesman for the constable’s office said this week that it took the office hours to figure out which home the teens had run away from because the siblings had just moved in. When the police finally went to Duncan and Terrell’s house, they were gone. Then, an Amber Alert was sent out for five more of Duncan’s children, ages 7 to 14.
The couple was caught during a traffic stop in the Baton Rouge area on Tuesday afternoon. They were arrested on fugitive charges from Harris County.
State police said that a child was in the car with the couple. Police said that five other children who were left at a relative’s house near Baton Rouge were later found and accounted for.
The Harris County constable’s office said the couple’s 18-year-old brother may have gone missing with them. It wasn’t clear where he was. Authorities said it was not clear if the 18-year-old brother was the fifth person who was dropped off at the relative’s house.
On Friday, it was not clear how the children who were taken to Louisiana were doing. Child welfare workers in Louisiana didn’t want to say anything. Texas officials in charge of child welfare did not answer a request for comment.
On Friday, no one knew if Duncan and Terrell had hired lawyers.
Jeff McShan, a spokesman for Harris County Constable Precinct 5, said Friday that the couple was in jail in Louisiana and was expected to be sent to Texas to face charges, but he didn’t know when that would happen.
KTRK, an ABC station in Houston, said Thursday that Duncan and Terrell went to court in Louisiana and are being held without bond.
The court documents from Harris County said that the twin girl had an old injury that left her with a broken eye socket and swollen, misshapen hands. Court records showed that the twin boys’ left forearm was broken from an old injury.
The report also said that the teens were hurt by being starved. According to court documents, they told investigators that they were fed sandwiches with mustard, relish, or bologna once to three times a week. They were also forced to “drink water from the washing machine’s water supply valve,” according to the records.
The teens were also made to drink urine and eat feces, according to the court report.
The teens said they couldn’t remember the last time they took a shower and that they only had access to a dirty mop bucket. When they had to go to the bathroom, they had to urinate or defecate on themselves, according to court records.
Duncan was found guilty of cruelty to a child by child abandonment in 2019 in Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish, according to court records.