After their bedroom door had been kicked in by their stepfather, two young girls escaped when he threatened them with a knife. They ran to a nearby neighbor’s house for help. The Tucson Police Captain Mike Gillooly responded to the 911 call for help at the residence in the 2800 block of North Estrella Avenue near East Glenn Street and North Stone Avenue

tucsonThe two girls, ages 12 and 13, who were clearly malnourished and filthy told the police that their mother and stepfather had been holding them in their home for two years and that an older sister, who was kept in a separate bedroom was still in the house, but they hadn’t seen her for two years. The girls claimed they were fed once a day and hadn’t had a bath in 4 to 6 months.

When police went to the house to investigate they found the third girl, who is 17 years old, locked in a bedroom. She was as filthy as the two younger girls and appeared to be malnourished as well. The names of the girls were not released.

The Tucson Police arrested the girl’s stepfather, Fernando Richter, 34 and their mother, Sophia Richter, 32. They were each charged with kidnapping, child abuse/emotional abuse, child abuse/physical abuse. The stepfather was also charge with one count of sexual abuse with a person under the age of 15.

Neighbors told the police that they didn’t even know there were any children living in the home at all. Captain Gillooly said, “I can assure you we’re doing everything we can to make sure these kids are kept safe.”

I will never understand how anyone can treat their children this way. I hope if all these allegations against this man and woman are true that they are given the maximum amount the law permits as a punishment for what they have done to these kids. No one deserves to be treated this way, it just isn’t natural. I pray for these three girls. I hope that they can somehow lead normal lives after this. I pray it isn’t too late for them.

Jan Barrett

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