A Rockville, Maryland couple was arrested and charged with locking their 22-year-old autistic twins in the basement of their home.
Montgomery County police told WTTG-TV that the basement contained no lights, a strong scent of urine, and only a single comforter for the two men to sleep on. Police also said the room had only a single window, which was far too small for either man to climb through should an emergency arise.
The Washington Post reported that police arrested 57-year-old John Land and 59-year-old Janice Land this past Thursday after they showed up to the couple’s home to serve a search warrant on an unrelated matter. Once police were inside, they discovered one of the doors in the basement was secured from the outside with a deadbolt. When they opened the lock, they discovered the room with the autistic twins inside.
According to court documents, John Land told police he had been locking his sons up each night between 10 p.m. to just before 5 a.m. for the past six years in order to prevent them from leaving the house unsupervised, as had happened in the past. The lands said the twins are nonverbal, and their only form of communication is pointing at objects.
The Post reported that John Land claimed to police that he had only recently removed furniture from the basement because it had become soiled, and planned on purchasing new furniture when he could afford it. Court documents also claimed that when officers asked the Lands how they would know when their sons would need something, John Land said he would eventually be awakened by their screams.
The twins are now in protective custody. The Lands have been released on bond, but are facing two counts each of false imprisonment and two counts each of vulnerable adult abuse of a family member.
Maryland Couple Arrested For Confining Autistic Twins in Basement