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Georgia couple accused of locking son in basement for more than a year

Crime
Georgia couple locked 13-year-old son in basement for more than a year

A former Georgia Tech football player and his wife, who are accused of locking their 13-year-old son in their basement for a more than a year, were charged with child cruelty and false imprisonment Thursday, police said.

Recardo Wimbush, 33, who was a star linebacker while in college, and Therian Wimbush, 37, have agreed to turn themselves in to police Friday. 

The couple, who live in Buford, an Atlanta suburb, are accused of confining the boy to a small room with a box spring and mattress — without bedding — and a large plastic jar that was apparently used as a toilet, Gwinnett County police said in a statement. A lock was added to the door in January 2013.

Authorities began investigating after the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services received an anonymous tip on June 15, police said. The parents had told caseworkers that the boy, whose name was not released, was being held in the basement for disciplinary reasons.

Authorities said the boy appeared to be in generally good health, as did his nine siblings, who apparently had not been confined.

The boy bore no signs of malnourishment or physical abuse, nor did his siblings, police said.

Investigators said the boy had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices or even his siblings. He was provided with food at normal meal times and was occasionally let out to use the bathroom, police said. He did not attend public school.

The room in which he was confined had two walls of drywall and two of concrete, all painted blue, and a hardwood floor. The room was clean, and like the rest of the house, was in good repair, police said. The room was dark; there was no lightbulb in the light fixture and its single window was painted white.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services has custody of the boy and his siblings.

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