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Originally published June 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Page modified June 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

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Police: Couple kept son locked away for years

A man arrested for burglary in a Central Texas town told police he had been held captive for at least four years by his adoptive parents in a garage apartment locked on the outside, authorities said.


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DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas —

A man arrested for burglary in a Central Texas town told police he had been held captive for at least four years by his adoptive parents in a garage apartment locked on the outside, authorities said.

Jenifer Elise Thyssen, 40, and Dane Andrew Thyssen, 39, were being held Friday at the Hays County jail. They were arrested Wednesday on kidnapping charges.

Hays County sheriff's deputies say the couple told them they confined 22-year-old Koystya Thyssen in an apartment at their home in Dripping Springs "for the safety" of their other children, according to the arrest affidavit.

Court documents don't indicate how many children were in the couple's care.

No attorneys were listed for Jenifer and Dane Thyssen at the jail, and no home phone number was listed for the family. Dripping Springs, a town of around 1,900 residents, is about 20 miles west of Austin.

Authorities began to investigate the case after Koystya Thyssen was arrested for burglarizing a neighbor's home after using a screwdriver to escape the apartment.

Sheriff's deputies said the apartment had a toilet, sink and microwave, and that Koystya Thyssen told them his adoptive parents gave him a box of dry and frozen foods once a week. He said he was allowed to leave once a week to see a counselor, but was otherwise confined to the apartment.

"Koystya stated he believes it's wrong how he is treated but doesn't say anything," the affidavit says. "Koystya advised he had no friends nor any family in the United States."

The affidavit does not indicate where he is from originally.

He was being held at the county jail Friday on a burglary of a habitation charge. His bond was set at $10,000. No attorney was listed for him.

Jenifer and Dane Thyssen each were being held on $350,000 bond.



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