Autistic twin men locked up in Maryland home
ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Maryland couple is accused of keeping their autistic, 22-year-old twin sons locked in a basement room at night with no furniture and a tiny window for light.
John and Janice Land are charged with vulnerable adult abuse and false imprisonment, online court records show. They are free on bond.
They couldn't be reached early Tuesday for comment. No phone number is listed for the home, and no defense attorney is listed in online court records.
Montgomery County police went to the couple's Rockville home Thursday to execute a search warrant for a drug-related investigation. Once inside, officers said, they saw a basement room that was locked from the outside with a deadbolt. When an officer opened the door, the twins were inside.
The parents told police their sons were nonverbal and have run away in the past. John Land acknowledged he installed the deadbolt on one door and a padlock on a second door to ensure the twins did not get out of the room, police said. He told them he locks his sons in the room from about 10 p.m. to 4:45 a.m.
The room contained no furniture and smelled strongly of urine, police said.
The one light in the room did not work and was covered up, and the one small window was not large enough for the men to fit through if they had to get out in an emergency.
John Land told police his sons' furniture was removed recently because they had soiled it. The boys' mother said they intended to buy new furniture when they could save up the money, police said.
Police did not reveal in a court document if John Land said how long he had been locking up his sons, but Janice Land told police they had been using the room as their bedroom for the past six years and the deadbolt was there when they moved in. Her husband said she was aware the twins were locked in the room, but she denied any knowledge that they were.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Museum saves part of bomber plant
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon
- Botched probe of suspected arms dealer echoed Fast and Furious, watchdog finds
- Hawaii’s National Guard sent to lava flow site
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Wash. shooting survivor has jaw surgery
- Ferguson grand jury cleared in leaks about police shooting of black teenager
- Plane slams into pilot training center at Kansas airport, killing 4
- Inmate freed in landmark case