Parents in Sarasota, Florida, were arrested for child abuse after officers discovered they regularly tied up their 12-year-old daughter with zip ties and locked her in a room.
Eugenio and Victoria Erquiaga were arrested after deputies responded to a call about a possible kidnapping on Dec. 27, 2015, Fox 13 reports.
The young girl, restrained with zip ties around her hands and ankles, escaped to a neighbor's house. The neighbor called police.
When detectives arrived at the home, the young girl explained that her parents would restrain her with zip ties when she got angry and lock her in a small playhouse inside the home.
Detectives found the playhouse, set up to be barred shut with large pieces of wood in front of the door and windows, smelling strongly of urine. The 12-year-old told police she was forced to soil herself while restrained in the playhouse because she could not escape.
A hook inside the playhouse was used to secure the girl’s zip ties so that she could not kick the playhouse apart, the Erquiagas told authorities.
The parents blamed their daughter’s behavioral issues for their actions.
The girl’s siblings confirmed that their parents confined their sister. All eight children in the home were taken into protective custody.
The Erquiagas turned themselves in to police on Jan. 6 and are currently being held without bond in the Sarasota County Jail.
Eugenio is a radiologist, and Victoria is a member of the Florida Bar.