A Dripping Springs, Texas, couple is accused of locking their adopted son inside a garage for four years. Jenifer and Dane Thyssen were arrested and charged with kidnapping on Wednesday afternoon. The parents admitted holding 22-year-old Koystya captive for more than four years — in an attempt to protect their other children.
Authorities were alerted to the situation when Koystya managed to escape. The young man reportedly broke out of the garage and burglarized a neighbor’s home. Following his arrest, Koystya confessed that he had been locked inside his adoptive parents’ garage for at least four years.
In an official statement, Koystya explained that the garage served as an apartment, with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, and toilet. However, the windows were boarded up and the door was outfitted with a padlock.
Although they provided him with food, Jenifer and Dane Thyssen denied their adopted son freedom and companionship. Koystya was allowed one box of food per week, which was delivered on Saturdays. On Wednesdays, the young man was allowed to enter his parents home for a shower. He was then escorted to an appointment with his counselor.
Following his counseling appointment, Koystya was forced to return to the locked garage. It is unclear why Koystya did not discuss his living arrangements with his counselor. However, his parents suggested he suffered from mental and emotional issues.
Jenifer and Dane Thyssen contend they were simply trying to protect the neighbors and their other children from their son’s erratic behavior. The couple’s attorney, Parry Minton, said Koystya has “predatory tendencies” and has the potential to sexually assault children.
Authorities said locking their adopted son in the garage was not an acceptable form of crime prevention or punishment.
As reported by Statesman, Koystya felt incredibly isolated and has no other family or friends. Although he sometimes received gifts during special occasions, he was denied companionship with his parents and siblings. According to the police affidavit, the family often vacationed while their adopted son was locked inside the garage.
TWC News reports that Jenifer and Dane Thyssen were arrested and charged with felony kidnapping. The couple remains in custody in the Hays County Jail. Their bond is set at $350,000 each.
Attorney Minton said he is confident his clients will be exonerated, as they were simply trying to protect others. Authorities said there is no acceptable excuse for locking their adopted son inside the garage for more than four years.
[Images via Statesman]