Twins suffered horrific abuse, including having to drink own urine before escaping Texas home, neighbor says

Texas twin teens, whose escape was captured on doorbell camera footage while they pleaded with neighbors for help, allegedly were handcuffed inside a laundry room and forced to drink their own urine.

Their mother, Zaikiya Duncan, 40, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, 27, were later arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and were to be extradited back to Texas’ Harris County on Thursday.

KHOU obtained Ring doorbell footage showing the malnourished 16-year-olds, a boy and a girl, going door-to-door in a Cypress, Texas, subdivision for about 30 minutes, pleading for help at around 5 am Tuesday morning.

“Do you need some help?” a man’s voice asks through the camera.


“Yes, please, can you let us in, please?” one of the teens, who is shirtless, says meekly.


“What happened?” the man responds before the other teen says, “We just need somewhere to be right now.” “The man says, “No, we can’t do that.” Unsure of the circumstances, most neighbors turn the teens away before one woman, a single mother at home with her daughter lets them inside.

“I just knew they were kids right away, so I quickly opened the door,” the woman told the outlet. “I told them to come in and I quickly shut the door and I locked it.”

“They were so skinny and so frail. They just looked like they had been through a lot,” she added.

The doorbell camera showed one of the teens taking out the handcuffs to show the woman.

“I sat them down, I brought them blankets, covered them up. And the first thing the little boy said was, ‘We’re starving,'” the woman said. “The little girl was here standing, and she was visibly shaking and showing me her handcuffs, saying, ‘We just broke out of these.'”

The woman brought them into her kitchen, fed them, called the police and sought more information.

“They told me that their mom kept them locked in the laundry room, naked, zip-tied from the ankles and handcuffed from the wrists,” the woman, who declined to be shown on camera, said. “They said, ‘We would pee and poop on themselves.’ And they said when we needed to bathe, the mom would let them use the dirty mop water to bathe. They didn’t get a bath. They got dirty mop water.”

“How can a mother do this to their kids?” the woman said. “No child deserves this.”

Graphic photos showed their bodies covered in bruising, cuts and scars.

A source told KHOU that the teens told investigators that they also were not allowed to use a toilet, were forced to drink their own urine and lived surrounded by feces in the laundry room.

The outlet said both were malnourished and the boy had at least one fractured bone that had healed.

Neighbors said the family had moved into the Houston-area subdivision just two weeks ago. Deputies went to the home but found Duncan and Terrell had fled with five other children, ages 8 to 14, so an Amber Alert was issued. The couple was arrested in Louisiana with just one child with them. The others were later located at a relative’s home. All seven kids were placed in Child Protective Services custody.


Duncan had been arrested for child abuse in the past in Louisiana, according to KHOU. Court records said her children were removed from the home back in 2012, but it’s unclear why they were returned.

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