Three teens were rescued from a Tuscon, Arizona, home where they were held captive for up to two years. Authorities found the sisters, ages 12, 13, and 17, when the younger girls managed to escape. A neighbor said the girls were seeking help after their stepfather threatened them with a knife.
When authorities arrived, they searched the girls’ home and found the 17-year-old locked inside a bedroom. All three girls were found to be “filthy” and malnourished. Authorities took the girls into protective custody and charged their stepfather Fernando Richter and mother Sophia, with kidnapping, physical child abuse, and emotional child abuse. Fernando was also charged with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 15.
Authorities said the home was a disaster. The two younger girls were locked into one room together and 17-year-old was kept in another room away from her sisters. As reported by ABC News, the girls said they were held captive inside the rooms for at least two years.
The three teens said they were only allowed to eat once per day. They also told authorities it had been at least six months since they were allowed to bathe. The two younger girls said they were denied contact with their older sister for a period of two years. Although they were living in the same home, they were not allowed to see or speak to each other.
Tucson Police Captain Michael Gillooly spoke at a press conference, explaining that the girls were “kept in filthy living conditions.” He also said the girls were malnourished and visibly disturbed.
Captain Gillooly said the girls are being kept safe. Their mother and stepfather are currently incarcerated as the Tuscon Police Department continues their investigation.
Neighbors said they were unaware the three teens were living in the home. However, one neighbor reported hearing children’s voices in the area.
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