A father and his son were arrested at their Toledo, Ohio, home Thursday after a 13-year-old girl told police she’d been shackled and chained in their basement for more than a year, WTOL reports. Two women found the girl wandering outside the house Wednesday night, and she told them she’d managed to escape when the men went for a run.
According to the Toledo Blade, Timothy Ciboro, 53, and Esten Ciboro, 27, are the girl’s stepfather and stepbrother respectively. The girl told the women who found her outside that her mom had left her and her two siblings to go to Las Vegas, and that after her mother left, the girl got in trouble with her stepfather for “wetting the bed.” As punishment, he allegedly “[put] handcuffs on her ankles” and “[made] her sleep in the basement.” She also said she was forced to go to the bathroom in a bucket while chained.
Police told NBC24 there was evidence in the house to support the teen’s allegations: They found a set of large handcuffs or leg irons in the basement that were chained to a support beam, as well as a big bucket of ammonia. When police came to the house to arrest the men, they were reportedly in the process of putting the two other children in a van and trying to escape. They’d packed a gun with them.
When police arrested the Ciboros, they took the girl’s siblings as well. Executive director of the Lucas County Children Services Robin Reese told the Blade the agency has been aware of the Ciboro family since 2014 when they got a report that the same girl was eating discarded French fries from a public park garbage can. All three children had been home-schooled for years, which is why Reese believes the suspects were able to go unnoticed for so long.
The 13-year-old and her siblings are physically fine and did not appear to be malnourished, but police noted the victim’s hygiene was poor. The Ciboros are each being held in jail on $500,000 bond on charges of endangering children and kidnapping to terrorize or inflict serious physical harm until their preliminary hearing May 26.