Texas woman helps handcuffed twins after they escape abusive home

CYPRESS, Texas — A twin brother and sister were taken to the hospital after police officials said they fled barefoot from their abusive home in Cypress, Texas on Tuesday morning.

Her mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, 27, are charged with harming a Harris County child. They were taken into custody Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after escaping with five of their other children and setting off an amber alarm. They are currently awaiting return transport.

The Harris County District 5 Police Officer’s Office said the 16-year-old twin boy and girl went door-to-door in the neighborhood where they lived looking for help early in the morning.

It is not known how many doors they knocked on before ending up with a woman in the nearest neighborhood at 5:30 am. She spoke anonymously to ABC13 for security reasons.

Her doorbell camera caught the twins asking, “Can you help us?” and showing her their handcuffs.

“When they came in, they said, ‘We’re not here to hurt you,'” the woman recalled. “She was shaking with her handcuffs. She said, ‘We’re looking for help. We just need help. We just broke out of our handcuffs. Our mom handcuffed us in the laundry room.’”

She immediately said the teenagers told her they were starving and hadn’t eaten in over a week. The woman gave them a snack and she said they ate whatever she put in front of them.

The woman, an intensive care unit nurse, photographed the wounds on her body. Her wrists were cut off from the handcuffs. She noticed scars on her wrists.

“The little girl complained that she couldn’t even close her hand because her hand felt so tight and swollen from trying to pull on the handcuffs and pull them off,” the woman said.

They told her about the abuse they endured at their home, she said, and withheld no details.

The twins told her they tried to escape the day before, but their mother caught them and locked them up again.

“They complained that being in only one position in the laundry room made them feel stiff,” the woman said.

Instead of calling 911, she said she called her local police department and relayed the situation. The woman said they would be there in a few minutes and took the girl away on a stretcher.

Child protection services in Texas said they had not previously been involved with the family. The Department of Child and Family Services of Louisiana, where they are from, has had at least one documented case of abuse since 2012, according to court records.

The woman is still trying to process what happened, she said. She is frustrated that Duncan had custody of her children and the abuse became so extreme.

She plans to follow this case to the end so the siblings know there is someone to care for them.

“Give these offenders a life in prison, like murderers, because that’s what it’s going to eventually lead to, and I bet crime would go down,” she said. “Children would not be abused because they were afraid of going to prison for life.”

Duncan and Terrell are scheduled to be transported back to Harris County on Thursday.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/amber-alert-abused-twins-cypress-family-handcuffed/12350547/ Texas woman helps handcuffed twins after they escape abusive home

Alley Einstein

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