John Land and Janice Land
WJLA screenshot

A Maryland couple is facing abuse charges after it was discovered that they were keeping their 22-year-old autistic sons locked up in their basement for hours at a time, according to court documents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

John Land, 57, and Janice Land, 59, were arrested and charged with two counts each of vulnerable adult abuse and attempted false imprisonment.


According to the Times, Montgomery County police were at the couple’s Rockville home with an unrelated search warrant when they noticed an “overwhelming smell of urine coming from the other room” and another room sealed with a deadbolt. It was there, in the room with no furniture, working lights or bathroom, that police discovered the two nonverbal males.

The room had only one comforter and a small window.

John Land reportedly told the authorities that the twins have been locked up from 10 p.m. to 4:45 a.m. for the past six years or so because they lack communication skills and sometimes run away.

Janice Land, for her part, reportedly said, “If someone locked them in the room, I didn’t know about it.”

Court documents indicate that the men were indeed “totally nonverbal,” the Times notes. The couple is free on bond and due for a hearing at the Montgomery County District Court in early September.


Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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