The adoptive parents of four children were arrested after the kids were found locked up without food, water or a bathroom at their Tucson, Ariz., home, according to a local report Tuesday.
Benito and Carol Gutierrez, ages 69 and 64, face child abuse charges after one of the children escaped through a bedroom on Saturday and called police from a Family Dollar store, KVOA-TV reported, citing authorities.
Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department found three more children, whose ages ranged from 6 to 12, trapped inside their respective bedrooms. The doors reportedly locked from the outside.
A bucket was found in one bedroom and it was being used as a bathroom, the TV station wrote.
It’s unclear how long the children had been in the care of the couple and if they were related to each other.
Pima County officials did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on the allegations.
The arrests draws a startling resemblance to a startling case of child abuse in California where a couple has been accused of holding their 13 children captive under abhorrent conditions. David Turpin, 57, and his wife, Louise Turpin, 49, allegedly chained the home-schooled children to their beds and only allowed them to shower once per year.
The couple was arrested after their 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window.