In a case that again calls attention to the autism crisis faced by parents in America, a Rockville, Maryland, couple was arrested last week when police found their 22-year-old twin sons, both of whom are severely autistic, imprisoned in a basement that smelled of urine, and contained no lights or furniture — not even a bed.
John Land, 57, and 59-year-old Janice Land told police that they kept the two young men locked in the basement room from 10 pm to 4:45 am every night, because the autistic pair often left the house at night and were incapable of taking care of themselves.
They told police that the young men had caused damage to other areas of the house, and that is why they were locked in the basement, and that furniture had been removed from the room because the twins had soiled it and the Lands could not afford new furniture.
Earlier this month, The Inquistr reported on the case of a California autistic boy who was allegedly confined to a dog kennel by his parents. The case, Inquisitr reported, shed light on a dire situation in which “parents who are not given access to autism treatment for their children often become overwhelmed,” resorting to desperate and even cruel measures.
The report by Inquisitr writer Dawn Papple may be accessed at this link.
In the more recent case, police showed up at the Land household on what they called an unrelated matter last Thursday. When they noticed a basement door that appeared to be bolted from the outside, the opened the door and found the twins in a room that smelled powerfully of urine.
Janice Land told police that the twins slept in that room for the past six years.
Though she sad she had no knowledge of the autistic twins being locked up prior to that period, neighbors said the confinement had been going on for many years.
One neighbor said that the Lands at one point kept the boys locked in a laundry room where they would use the washing machine and dryer in lieu of beds on which to sleep.
Another neighbor said that authorities had visited the Land’s house on the 1600 block of Crawford Drive in Rockville on several previous occasions, responding to complaints that children were being kept imprisoned in the home. But the boys were never removed by the authorities.
“We made reports to the authorities and — nobody,” said neighbor Sharon Drennan. “There’s been cops in that house several times and never removed those children. And it comes to this — this long?”
John and Janice Land have been charged with two counts of vulnerable adult abuse and attempted false imprisonment in the case of the two boys with autism. Their home has reportedly been condemned by the city.