CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) - Teen twins in Texas, starving and beaten, got out of their house and went door to door begging for help, officials said.
A woman answered a bizarre knock on the door at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Others in the neighborhood did not answer, some out of fright, but she did. Lead Door For X-Ray Room
The Precinct 5 Constable’s Office says the twin 16-year-olds, one boy and one girl, escaped from their home, where they had been held prisoner in handcuffs in their laundry room.
Neither had shoes, and one was not wearing a shirt. It was cold outside, and they were desperate.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous for safety reasons, invited them in.
“They were saying that they had just gotten here from Baton Rouge. I think they said that they just moved here and that their mom didn’t disclose the address to them so they didn’t know,” she said.
She gave them blankets and food, and she says they ate every bit. They told her they hadn’t eaten in more than a week.
The woman called the police.
In the meantime, she said the children opened up about the abuse they had endured at the hand of their mother, Zaikiya Duncan and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell. The teens told her they tried to escape the night before.
“But she got caught and her mom beat her, hit her in the head,” the woman recounted.
Duncan and Terrell have both been charged with injury to a child.
The woman, who is an ICU nurse, checked out their injuries and took photos showing swollen hands and fresh cuts to their wrists and arms.
She noticed scarring on their frail bodies as well.
“They complained about feeling stiff from being in just one position in the laundry room,” she said.
The woman who helped them said she is still trying to process everything, but she is angry that it got to this extreme and that Duncan had custody of her children.
Texas Child Protective Services said they had not been involved with the family before. In Louisiana, from where they had just moved, the Department of Child and Family Services had been involved and documented past abuse, according to court records.
Duncan and Terrell were arrested in Baton Rouge after running off with five of Duncan’s other kids, triggering an Amber Alert. The alert has been canceled since, with officials reporting the kids were found safe.
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