Parents Charged For Holding Teens Captive

By: Autria Godfrey Email
By: Autria Godfrey Email

February 27, 2007

Behind the doors of their modest Waynesboro home police say Steven and Heather Tomlin were mistreating their teenage girls to the point of child cruelty.

After a concerned citizen alerted police they turned up on the Tomlin's doorstep Friday night. And according to police the two girls, one fifteen, one sixteen, were locked inside their rooms with only a mattress and a camping porta potty, the conditions, those of a captive.

The windows had been nailed shut and the locks on the doors reversed so that only someone from the outside could unlock them.

Next door neighbor Carolyn Rogers used to see the girls out.

"I've seen them both go up and down the yard and ride their bikes but all of a sudden everything quit" said Rogers.

And it was at that point five months ago that police say the two charged with child cruelty began keeping the girls locked in their rooms, allowing them out during the day to attend school and at certain times to visit friends' homes.

But after both girls were allegedly confined for over one hundred days neighbors took note of the family's reclusive behavior.
February 27, 2007

"It was kind of weird you know, you saw them just every now and then but they just kind of kept to themselves" said neighbor Daniel Swisher.

And now they are questioning how something so immoral could happen so close to home

"Just amazing what can happen right next door and you don't even have a clue. It's hard to believe" said Swisher.

The Tomlin's have been charged with child cruelty, each on one count for each girl, which is a felony. Tonight they are out on bond. The girls have since been removed.

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