Ongoing investigation: Autistic twins kept in Md. basement

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police said 22-year-old autistic twins were allegedly being kept locked in their Rockville, Md. basement by their parents.

It all started Thursday morning when Montgomery County Police went to the house located at 1602 Crawford Dr. in Rockville, to serve a warrant for an unrelated incident.

According to the State's Attorney's Office, as officers walked through the home, they stumbled upon a door in the basement that was bolted shut from the outside.

Officers unlocked the door and went inside. According to authorities, they found the twins in that room, they say, had an overwhelming smell of urine.

The room had no furniture, only a single bed comforter sitting on the hard tile floor. There was one light in the room that did not function.

According to State's Attorney's documents, the parents, John and Janice Land, told police that the twins suffered from autism. The twins were non-verbal and could only communicate by pointing. The parents claimed they were locked in the room to prevent them from leaving the house, as they had a history of leaving.

Neighbors did not know much about the twins. Some knew nothing.

"I had only heard from my boyfriend's landlady that they existed. I had never seen them before, never seen them out front," said Sarah Silberto, one of the Land's neighbors.

Chris King, another one of the Land's neighbors said,"I had no idea they were ever there."

Montgomery County Police Department said, the twins were taken to the hospital for evaluation and have been placed in the care of APS.

The parents, John and Janice Land were arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse and two counts of unlawful intentional detention, in violation of common law.

The parents were released on July 18, police said, after a payment of $75,000 was made for John Land and a $50,000 bond for Janice Land.

Authorities said, the investigation is still ongoing.


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