Kidnapping charges for US couple after adopted daughter ‘held in basement’

Thomas Atkocaitis, 57 and Denise Atkocaitis, 55, of New Boston in New Hampshire, are accused of criminal restraint, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

The pair are alleged to have held the girl in a room smaller than 8ft (2.4m) square which had an alarm on the door and wire mesh covering a window.

The girl, whose name and age have not been confirmed, was only allowed to leave to eat or to go to the toilet.

An investigation began in September when the couple reported their adopted daughter missing.

Police say the victim is the Atkocaitis’ adopted child, but are not saying whether it is the same 15-year-old daughter they reported missing back in September.

The child they had reported missing was found safe the next day.

New Boston Police Chief James Brace told the New Hampshire Union Leader: “Essentially, what we’re alleging is that they confined a child to a room smaller than eight by eight feet in their basement for a period over two months beginning in July.”

“The room was not equipped with lighting; there was one window that was covered with a wire mesh that would have made it inaccessible to the victim,” he added.

Brace told the paper it was the 15-year-old, who had been home-schooled by her adopted parents, who informed authorities about the living conditions in the New Boston home.

The couple, who were arrested last week, have been released on bail and will appear in court on 1 November.

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