TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (CBS Cleveland) — An Indiana couple is accused of tying their adopted children to a bed and starving them.

The Indianapolis Star reports Terre Haute authorities arrested Larry Russell, 39, and Nikki Lee Russell, 35, after their 93-pound 17-year-old son escaped from a locked bedroom the day after Thanksgiving and made it to a hospital.

The teenager reportedly told authorities of the horrific treatment he and his two adopted brothers received at the hand of the Russells, which included stuffing socks in their mouths and covering it with duct tape, dousing them in urine, and withholding food and water from them. The Tribune-Star additionally reports the boys were also beaten with rods and punctured with scissors.

“In my 19 years with the police force, I’ve never seen before what’s been described by these children, the injuries they sustained and the condition in which they lived,” Terre Haute Assistant Chief Shawn Keen told The Tribune-Star.

Keen said the kids’ living situation resembled a “prison cell.”

Police tell The Tribune-Star that they found padlocks on bedroom doors, boarded-up windows and rope and duct tape at the couple’s home.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the 17-year-old and his two adopted brothers were locked in their bedroom with two microwave burritos and a half a glass of water on Thanksgiving, while the Russells ate dinner with their biological son and an adopted girl.

It is not known how long the adopted boys have been in the care of the Russells.

They are being held in Vigo County Jail on $100,000 bond and face three counts of neglect and criminal confinement each.


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