Graphic footage released Monday showed the moment 16-year-old twins made their escape from a home in Texas, where their mother and her boyfriend had allegedly held them captive.
The twins claim their mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and Jova Terrell, 27 shackled them inside their Houston home and abandoned them in a utility room, sources told KHOU. While locked inside, the twins were allegedly forced to drink their own urine and eat their own feces.
Both were malnourished, had injuries on their wrists from the shackles, and were covered in bruises, cuts, and scars, the outlet continued. They went door-to-door, as seen in camera footage, for 30 minutes looking for help before a woman in a nearby community let them in, gave them food, and wrapped them in blankets. She called local law enforcement, who responded to the address.
“They would only feed them a sandwich, only if they were quiet the whole day, if they made any type of noise they wouldn’t be fed,” the woman reportedly, per KHOU. “How a mother could do this to her kids and… I feel like my tears are out of frustration anger and sadness.”
Deputies issued an AMBER Alert after it was discovered that Duncan and Terrell allegedly fled with the twins’ five siblings, aged between 7 and 14-years, along with another 18-year-old brother, KHOU noted. All seven children were placed in Child Protective Custody after they were found, and the adults were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (RELATED: Police Charge Woman For Attempted Castration, Brutal Abuse Of Child)
They were found near the Louisiana State University campus in Harris County, and have been charged with injury to a child, according to a news report. A neighbor claimed that the children did not know their address as they had only moved into the property recently, according to KPRC.