Houston twins tell police they ran away after being abused by mother and partner, authorities say




CNN

A Houston couple was arrested in Louisiana on Tuesday after two abused children showed up at a home near the Texas suburb that morning, according to authorities and a court document.

Harris County deputies responded around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to a Cypress home to conduct a welfare check on the siblings, where a woman told deputies the twins knocked on the door and “stated they had run away from their mother’s house,” according to an affidavit. the criminal complaint was filed Tuesday in Harris County District Court.

“The twin siblings were covered in bruises, barefoot and partially clothed. The siblings stated that they were starving,” the complaint says.

The children’s mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her partner, Jova Terrell, 27, were arrested in Louisiana, according to Harris County Constable District 5 Constable Ted Heap. Louisiana State Patrol spokesman Nick Manale said the couple. He was arrested after the fugitive traffic was stopped.

An Amber Alert for Duncan’s five other children, ages 7 to 14, was canceled when State Police found them, authorities said. A child was with the couple when they were arrested, according to Manale.

As of Friday, the twins found in Texas are still in the hospital, Harris County Constable Precinct 5 spokesman Jeff McShan told CNN.

The children were “severely malnourished” and had “bruises on their skin consistent with being restrained in handcuffs,” according to the complaint, a Harris County Constable corporal who met with the twins testified.

The girl had a gray plastic grocery bag around her neck, which she said she used as a shirt, and the siblings said she handcuffed a doll in their mother’s laundry room, court documents say.

According to the complaint, the children said their mother “drank chemicals like bleach, Lysol, and if they talked too much, she would throw ‘easy’ oven cleaner in their mouths.”

The teenagers couldn’t remember the last time they showered, had only a mop bucket with dirty water, and had to urinate and expel themselves, the document says.

One of the twins said Terrell hit her and punched her, the complaint adds.

The twins said the abuse began in July, according to court documents.

CNN could not determine whether Terrell or Duncan has legal representation. The couple is still awaiting extradition to Texas.

Terrell’s uncle, Alfred Terrell, told CNN on Friday, “Jova has never been involved in anything like this before and ultimately I don’t think he knew about these allegations,” adding that he had not been contacted or contacted. Before or after the arrest of Jova Terrell or Duncan.

According to the complaint, Duncan faces two counts of aggravated assault and battery on a family member with a previous conviction. Terrell said he may report continued violence against the family.

The complaint states that Duncan was convicted in October 2019 of cruelty to a minor, a family member and a household member.