GREENVILLE, Ga. — A brother and sister were rescued after being allegedly locked in a room and deprived of food over the course of a year, according to the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office.
Greenville residents Barry Lee Ellenburg, 41, Charlenne Virginia Ellenburg, 64 and Daniel Richard Odell, 35, were all arrested and charged with two counts each of cruelty to children in the first degree.
The investigation into child cruelty began Dec. 1, when investigators were at Ellenburg's home for an unrelated fraud case.
While officers were inside the home, one of the teens directed officers to a bedroom that had a dead-bolt on the outside of the door. The teen siblings told investigators that they were being locked in that bedroom nearly every evening around 5:30 p.m. and were forced to use the bathroom inside of a portable toilet in a corner of the room – in front of one another.
The room also smelled of human waste, according to the investigators.
Infrared cameras were also found in the room, and, after a search warrant, investigators found video surveillance and written logs of when the teens would cry and beg for food.
Investigators also found nail marks near windows in the room that were reportedly boarded up at one point. The light bulbs were also taken out of the light fixtures and a mattress in the room was used to muffle their noises, according to the victims' statements to police.
The 16-year-old girl's head was also shaved as a punishment. She told police that they would give and take away a wig she would wear as an additional punishment.
The suspects were arrested on Dec. 4 and are being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond. The victims were placed in the care of the Department of Family and Children Services.
Their case is still under investigation and more charges could be pending.