Nightmare for abused Cypress twins began in Baton Rouge

A neighbor in Louisiana mentioned she might sense bother behind the small fence that separated their yards. She recalled what she now considers cries for assist.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Warning: Contains graphic content material

KHOU 11 Investigates is studying extra in regards to the twins in Cypress who described horrific abuse final week after they ran away from dwelling wanting for assist. They instructed the lady who helped them that they had been beaten, burned, forced to drink bleach and urine and eat feces.

Court information confirmed their nightmare began in Baton Rouge, the place the twins and 4 siblings had been briefly put into foster care a decade in the past.

It’s the identical metropolis the place their mom, Zaikiya Duncan and stepfather Jova Terrell, are behind bars ready to be introduced again to Houston for allegedly abusing the kids.

RELATED: Court paperwork: Cypress twins say they had been pressured to drink bleach, burned, overwhelmed with curtain rods

Ring doorbell movies confirmed the horror the 16-year-old twins suffered. The abuse began lengthy earlier than they moved to Texas.

Neighbor Sonya Jancan remembered what she now considers cries for assist.

“My mom came over one day and she said, ‘Oh, the little girl next door asked me for some crackers.’ I was like, ‘OK, well, that’s kind of weird. Like, did you give it to her?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, I did.’ And then she came back a few days later and asked for it again. And, I was just like, maybe the mom wasn’t home. Maybe she was hungry,” Jancan mentioned.

Jancan mentioned she might sense bother behind the small fence that separated their yards.

RELATED: Woman accused of abusing her kids lengthy earlier than Tuesday’s AMBER Alert

“I remember one day I was washing dishes and she was out washing the windows and I went outside and was like, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ She went inside and closed the door. I noticed she did have scarring on her arms,” Jancan mentioned.

Louisiana court docket paperwork described the abuse.

In 2010, police had been known as to analyze massive bruises and scabs on one of many then-3-year-old’s buttocks. Duncan mentioned it was from a belt spanking and no prices had been filed.

Then, in 2012, Duncan was arrested after a faculty worker observed one of many twins was having bother sitting. Medical staff found burns and bruises on his physique. Investigators later discovered scars and bruises on his twin sister.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore mentioned the Department of Children and Family Services stepped in.

“Not only did they take those two children — who were in school — to the hospital to be evaluated, they also found all the other children and took them. All of the children, I believe, were found with different stages of injury,” Moore mentioned.

Duncan was charged with felony cruelty to a juvenile. While that case was open, the six kids had been returned to Duncan and their father a year later and Duncan received full custody in 2018. According to East Baton Rouge Parish court docket information, Duncan didn’t plead in the legal case till 2019, seven years later.

DA Moore mentioned abuse instances don’t usually take that lengthy to undergo the authorized system.

“This was an unusual case. In this case, our focus was on children, initially, and then move toward the justice side of the parents, but we wanted to make sure that the children were back to healthy and normal again,” Moore mentioned.

Duncan pleaded responsible to baby desertion, received one year of probation and needed to take a parenting class.

Duncan divorced the kids’s father that very same year and married Jova Terrell. The newlyweds moved to Harris County this summer season, the place they’re going through prices in this newest case of kid cruelty.

“The similarities are horribly striking. Houston needs to know what we know and what we have, and we need to know what Houston knows and has, and further work has to be done,” Moore mentioned.

Moore mentioned he is uncertain if Louisiana authorities might have performed one thing extra to guard the kids whereas they had been in Baton Rouge.

“It’s always easy to look back in hindsight. So, I think at the time, when we made the decisions we made, based on what they did after their arrest, it was the proper decision. But now looking back, had I been able to know what was going to happen again, in the future, and the behavior would be repeated, I would have taken a different action,” Moore mentioned.

Duncan and Terrell will likely be taken from Baton Rouge to Harris County on Friday.

All seven kids had been positioned in DCFS custody.

We requested the Louisiana DCFS for an interview. They declined.

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