A 13-year-old Toledo girl escaped her basement prison after she was reportedly locked in chains and held against her will for over a year. Although the investigation into this shocking case is ongoing and more details will be released as they are made available, initial reports say the teen was shackled by the ankle to a support beam in the basement.
According to a report from The Associated Press, the girl told police that she was punished by being chained and forced to sleep in a darkened basement at different times over the past year. She was able to escape the nightmarish ordeal Wednesday night thanks to a spare key she found.
“She said that she had been peeing in the bed…And her dad had chained her down… In the basement with cuffs on her ankles,” a caller was quoted as saying.
Police arrested an Ohio man and his son Wednesday night in connection with the case. Authorities say the pair were responsible for allegedly shackling the teen in their Toledo basement for more than a year. The men were identified as 53-year-old Timothy Ciboro and 27-year-old Esten Ciboro. Both are, respectively, stepfather and stepbrother of the victim. Both are charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, torture, and abuse and are being held on $500,000 bond, WKYC reports.
Court documents reveal the teen told investigators pretty horrific details of this disturbing case. The girl, whose identity has not yet been revealed, said that she was kept in the dark basement, handcuffed to a support beam by her ankle, fed spoiled scraps of food, and forced to use a bucket filled with ammonia as her bathroom.
Authorities suspect the abuse may have begun after her mother moved out of the house, which — according to the victim — was sometime in 2012. She also said she hadn’t gone to a traditional school since the first or second grade and instead had been home-schooled, the report states.
“She thinks that her mom may have left in 2012, but she’s not really sure,” Toledo Police Capt. Ron Frederick told reporters. “We haven’t confirmed that yet.”
As previously mentioned, the girl escaped from the basement after she obtained a key to the handcuffs. She hid the key from her captors until the men went out for a jog. She fled at around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Not too long after she escaped, the newly free Toledo girl was spotted by a Good Samaritan who helped her. Karen Loudermill, who works as a janitor, sat down with ABC 6/FOX 28 reporter Tara Morgan and talked about the encounter. Loudermill said she knew something wasn’t right when she first saw the teen standing outside Toledo’s Port Authority building, which is located about two miles from where she had been held captive.
Loudermill initially assumed the teen was a runaway because she had a backpack and two bags in her possession. The woman says she noticed bruises around her ankles, so she decided to take her inside the port authority building, where she works, to find out what was going on.
“I said you won’t be in any trouble if you tell me the truth and that’s when she told me about the shackles on her ankles for days when she wet the bed,” Loudermill said.
Police were called and when they arrived at the address she had given, Esten and Timothy Ciboro were loading Timothy’s two younger children into a van, which they had packed with possessions, and were carrying a lockbox with a gun, authorities said. The kids, a boy and a girl, were handed over to Lucas County Children Services.
Handcuffs and a bucket of ammonia were discovered in the basement, which seem to validate the girl’s allegations. The children are all being placed in foster care now, Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, said. This is not the first time that social services have been made aware of incidents with children in this family. In 2014, a neighbor reported seeing a child eating from a dustbin, but the child was not removed from custody because he did not appear to be suffering from malnutrition.
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