Ga. couple accused of locking 13-year-old in basement for years

A Georgia couple accused of locking their 13-year-old son in a small basement room with nothing but a mattress, a box spring and a bucket for a toilet have turned themselves in, police said.

Recardo and Therian Wimbush reported to authorities early Friday evening, Gwinnett County Police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Recardo and Therian Wimbush

Recardo and Therian Wimbush

They were in custody at the Gwinnett County Detention Center, according to Smith.

Authorities had detailed the case against the Wimbushes a day earlier, indicating that they were expected to turn themselves in.

State child protection workers went to the Wimbush home after receiving a tip and found the boy locked in an 8-by-6-foot room with no light bulb, books, toys or television, Smith said.

The boy had been confined to the room about two years and locked inside since January 2013, according to the police spokesman.

“He was essentially being treated as a prisoner would be treated,” Smith said Thursday, according to CNN affiliate WSB. “The window had been painted over. There was no light bulb outside. What was inside was a bucket that the child was using as a bathroom, a mattress and box spring.”

(FILE mugshot from 2005) Citing "disciplinary reasons," Recardo and Therian Wimbush told authorities they locked their 13-year-old son in a small basement room with nothing but a mattress, a box spring and a bucket for a toilet, police said.

(FILE mugshot from 2005) Citing “disciplinary reasons,” Recardo and Therian Wimbush told authorities they locked their 13-year-old son in a small basement room with nothing but a mattress, a box spring and a bucket for a toilet, police said.

Police indicated that the parents kept the child in this state for “disciplinary reasons.”

Recardo Wimbush, 33, and 37-year-old Therian Wimbush — both of Buford, Georgia — have been charged with child cruelty and false imprisonment.

Recardo Wimbush was a star football player at Georgia Tech from 1999 to 2002. A linebacker, he signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons but was cut before the season started.

The 13-year-old child and his nine siblings appeared to be in good health and showed no outward signs of physical abuse or malnutrition, Smith said. The parents would bring food downstairs to the boy when the rest of the family had meals, Smith said.

The Georgia Division of Family and Child Services took the 10 children — the youngest, 18 months — into custody. The boy is the oldest.

CNN reached out Thursday and earlier Friday to the Wimbushes. There was no response.

4 comments

  • Adrienne Sydnor

    The parents claim he molested 3 of the siblings. Maybe he caught one of them molesting one of his siblings and didn’t want him to tell. They took the law into their own hands. Now they get to deal with the law. I hope this child and the rest of the kids get the help that they need.

  • Sarah

    I read in another article, the boy himself states it was because he took a family DVD and lied about it. That’s what I read yesterday. This is a very saddening story for those children and I pray those so called ” parents ” are charged with worse than what’s being charged now. We give murders more opportunities than this child had.

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