Report: Stumbling Parents Lead Police To Girls Held Captive

11:26 AM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KPNX) - The intoxicated stepfather of two sisters had broken the bottom half of their bedroom door and was squatting down with a knife when the sisters decided to flee through a bedroom window, according to a report released Tuesday.

"After a bang they observed the bottom half of their door cave in and break," Tucson police said in the report.

STORY: Three girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home

STORY: Dungeon-like existence for Tucson girls, police say

"Through the break they observed (their stepfather) to be squatting by the open space, holding a knife near his chest and yelling at them," the report says.

They opened the window and the girls, ages 12 and 13, climbed out, the report says. They ran to a neighbor's house, and the neighbor answered their knocks and dialed 911, according to the report.

The police report and 911 transcripts released Tuesday reveal disturbing new details of how police suspect three sisters were held prisoner in a dungeon-like environment in Tucson for up to two years by their mother and stepfather.

At first, police responding to the call couldn't find the house because there was no address on the outside, the report says. After finding it, the officers issued commands so loudly that neighbors emerged from their homes.

It took about 10 minutes for the girls' mother, who had "blood-shot watery eyes," an "odor of intoxicants" and was "stumbling," to answer, the report says.

When her husband "stumbled" out a few minutes later, he was slurring his words and appeared intoxicated, the report says.

Asked who else was in the house, the man said, "Hazel and Thumper," referring to two dogs, the report says.

The Republic is withholding the names of the parents, who were arrested last week on suspicion of child abuse and kidnapping, to protect the identity of the three girls.

Police heard music as they approached one bedroom and when they opened the door, the hip-hop music was so loud the 17-year-old girl inside couldn't hear police, the report says.

Music blared in the room right next door that the other sisters occupied, the report says. The girls ate, slept and at times even went to the bathroom in their bedrooms.

Video cameras and loud music were trained on their beds 24 hours a day and the rooms were virtually soundproofed, police said.

The teenager was surprised to see police. " 'I haven't seen anyone in two years,'" she is quoted in the report. " 'I am in my room all day, and I have not seen my sisters in a year and a half."

She said she didn't attend school, didn't know her sisters lived in the next room and hadn't showered since September, the report says.

When police brought the three sisters together, "they were so excited to see each other ... they touched each others' faces, hugged and commented on how they have all changed since they last saw each other," the report says.

According to transcripts of their neighbor's 911 call, the girls said they wanted to talk to their biological father and grandmother.

"We used to visit our dad, but something happened and we were no longer allowed to visit him," one of the girls told police, according to the transcript. "I haven't talked to my dad for three years."

She also told police that she and her sister think of their mother's husband as "mostly a friend" rather than stepfather, the transcripts say.

Tucson police last week arrested the mother and stepfather on suspicion of three counts each of kidnapping, child abuse/physical and child abuse/emotional. The stepfather faces an additional count of sexual abuse of a person under age 15, police said.

Their arraignment will likely be early next week, according to Pima County Superior Court officials.

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