Deputies: Florida couple starved 50-pound teen & siblings, kept them locked up
FORT PIERCE, Fla. [WFLA] – A Florida couple is accused of starving three teens and keeping them locked in a room in St. Lucie County, according to officials.
Investigators said it’s one of the “most appalling examples of child neglect” they’ve ever seen. Oscar Torres, 40, and his 32-year-old wife Brittany Kirschenhofer each face three felony counts of aggravated child abuse.
Authorities received an anonymous complaint about the teens’ horrific living conditions.
“There was a chain lock on the door to the bedroom shared by the three victims,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brian Hester.
The couple told detectives the lock was for their pet dogs, not the children.
Hester said all three teens, a 17-year-old and twin 16-year-olds, were underweight. One of them weighed about 50 pounds and “was found hallucinating with loss of verbal communication, muscle control and other bodily functions.”
One of the teens told detectives they had to secretly sneak scraps of food.
“The details of this case are disturbing and some of the most appalling examples of child neglect that I have heard in my 26 years in law enforcement,” Hester said.
There were two younger children living in the home, but they did not appear to be neglected or abused, officials said. The children were taken from the home on Feb. 22. The children are with other family members and the teens are with their biological mother.
Torres and Kirschenhofer are both being held without bond.
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