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Autistic twin men locked up in Maryland home

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
 

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.

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