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Police charge parents of boy allegedly imprisoned in Buford home

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
BUFORD - Gwinnett County Police have charged the parents of a 13-year-old Buford boy with cruelty to children in the first degree and false imprisonment after authorities said they learned the boy had been confined to a basement room for the better part of two years.<br /> <br /> According to Gwinnett County Police Corporal Jake Smith, Recardo Wimbush, 33, and Therian Wimbush, 37, have each been charged with cruelty to children in the first degree and false imprisonment. They are scheduled to turn themselves in on Friday, according to police.<br /> <br /> Police said the investigation revealed the boy had been confined to a room in the basement of the home on Pierce Way which locked from the outside. Police said the victim had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices or his nine other siblings.<br /> <br /> While he was provided with food at meal times and periodically let out to use the bathroom, he did not attend school or other activities during the period, according to police.<br /> <br /> While the room was in good repair and clean, police said the room was dark and its single window had been painted white.<br /> <br /> Investigators said the boy and his siblings showed no signs of physical abuse or malnourishment. <br /> <br /> "The child seemed in good health, aside from being confined for what they determined to be a period of a year and a half to two years," Smith said.<br /> <br /> The boy and his siblings were placed in Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) custody on June 19, according to investigators, following a deprivation hearing. Police became involved at that point.<br /> <br /> According to police, DFCS investigated an initial anonymous complaint about the situation on June 15. <br /> <br /> "When they (DFCS) inspected the room, inside they found a box spring and a mattress, no bedding and a jar, a large plastic jug, essentially that the child was using the bathroom in," Smith said of DFCS' initial findings.<br /> <br /> At that point, police said DFCS ordered the lock be removed from the door of the room the boy was being held in. <br /> <br /> Investigators said the parents told them the boy was being confined for disciplinary reasons.<br /> <br /> Police obtained a search warrant for the home following the deprivation hearing, and Smith said conditions were much the same as they were they day DFCS investigated on the 15th, with the exception of a fitted sheet added to the bed.<br /> <br /> According to the news release from the police department, the Wimbush couple told DFCS the boy was confined for disciplinary reasons. <br /> <br /> "We do know, and I can say with certainty I suppose, that it was for disciplinary reasons, so he was confined and locked up in that room for disciplinary reasons, specifically why, I can't get into that just yet," Smith said.<br /> <br /> Fox 5 reported that the boy's father, Recardo Wimbush, is a former Georgia Tech football player.
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