Arizona Sisters: We Were Imprisoned for Years
Mother, stepfather arrested in Tucson case
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2013 6:32 AM CST

(Newser) – A horrific case out of Tucson: Police were called to a house around 4am yesterday, where they ultimately found three young sisters, malnourished and dirty, who say they were imprisoned there for as long as two years, the Arizona Republic reports. The 12- and 13-year-old girls say they managed to flee to a neighbor's house when a 34-year-old man living in the house kicked in the door of their room while armed with a knife and threatened them; the neighbor called 911. Police found a 17-year-old girl in another locked room; the girls say she was kept separate from her younger sisters and they had not seen each other for as long as two years.

The man and a 32-year-old woman, both described by the Republic only as "relatives" of the girls, were arrested and charged with physical and emotional child abuse and kidnapping; the man was also charged with one count of sexual abuse. The Arizona Daily Star says the man and woman are the girls' mother and stepfather, and identifies them as Sophia and Fernando Richter. The girls say they were only given food once a day and hadn't bathed in as many as six months. "They were kept in filthy living conditions," says the police captain. A neighbor tells 3TV she didn't know anyone lived at the house. "If there were kids, they never came out and played."