Doorbell video shows 'malnourished' twins pleading with neighbors to help them escape mother who they say handcuffed and abused them
- Doorbell videos show teenage twins pleading for neighbors to help them escape their family home.
- The children said they were handcuffed, abused, and starved by their mother.
Footage from doorbell cameras captured teenage twins in Houston, Texas, pleading with their neighbors for help after escaping from their home, where they allege they were handcuffed, abused, and starved by their mother.
The twins went door to door in the early hours of Tuesday morning but were rebuffed by neighbors for nearly half an hour before one let them in and called the authorities, local outlet KHOU reported.
The twins were "severely malnourished" and had "lacerations on their skin consistent with being restrained with handcuff restraints," according to the complaint seen by CNN. "The siblings stated that they were starving," the complaint said.
The children's mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, 27, went on the run and were arrested in Louisiana on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Patrol told CNN.
Duncan could face charges of aggravated assault and assault on a family member with a previous conviction, and Terrell could face charges of continuous violence against the family, the outlet said.
An Amber Alert triggered for Duncan's five other children, aged 7 to 14, was called off when the children were found to be with an 18-year-old man identified as their brother, CNN reported.
The twins told investigators that they were kept handcuffed in the laundry room, where they were left to urinate and defecate on themselves and only had access to a mop of dirty water, per the complaint seen by CNN.
They also said their mother made them drink chemicals such as bleach and Lysol and would spray oven cleaner in their mouths if they "talked too much."
The children were able to escape after the boy found the key to the handcuffs in their mother's purse, hid it in his mouth, and waited to make their escape, Sky News reported, citing court records.
A medical examination said that there were signs the children had been starved, and the boy had a healed bone fracture consistent with physical abuse, according to The Guardian.
According to CNN, the children were taken to hospital, where they remained as of Friday.
Duncan was previously convicted of cruelty to a child in October 2019, the court documents said, per CNN.
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