for: WFLA, Nexstar Media Wire
Published: April 16, 2021 / 09:45 EDTUpdated: April 16, 2021 / 09:45 EDT
FORT PIERCE, Florida (WFLA) – A Florida couple has been arrested for what investigators call one of the “most terrifying examples of child neglect” they have ever seen.
WPTV reports that Oscar Torres, 40, and his wife, 32, Brittany Kirschenhofer, both of Port St. Lucie, they face three aggravated felony counts of aggravated misuse.
Authorities responded to the couple’s home after receiving an anonymous complaint about the conditions of three teenagers who lived there.
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“There was a chain lock on the bedroom door shared by the three victims,” said St. Lucia County Sheriff’s Office deputy chief Brian Hester.
The couple told detectives that the door locks were for their dogs and that the children could move freely.
(Source: St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office)
Hester said the three teenagers, 17-year-olds and 16-year-old twins, had little weight. One of them weighed about 50 pounds and “was found hallucinating with loss of verbal communication, muscle control and other bodily functions.”
A teenager told detectives they had to “secretly look for leftover food.”
“The details of this case are disturbing and some of the most baffling examples of child neglect I’ve heard in my 26 years of policing,” Hester said.
Two younger children were living at home, but did not appear to have been abused or abandoned, authorities said. The children were removed from home on 22 February. Teenagers are now in charge of their biological mother. The rest of the children stay with other relatives.
Torres and Kirschenhofer remain without bail.