Parents Charged with Abusing Autistic Sons in Rockville (Photos)
Two Rockville parents are facing false imprisonment and abuse charges after police say they locked their autistic twin sons in the basement of their home.
John Weaver Land, 57, and his wife Janice Elizabeth Land, 59, both of the 1600 block of Crawford Drive in Rockville, were arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse and two counts of unlawful intentional detention, in violation of common law.
Police were at the Lands’ home July 17 at about 5 a.m. to serve a search warrant for a drug-related investigation when they came upon a basement door locked with an external deadbolt. When they opened the door, police said they found two, 22-year-old men who were later determined to be autistic twin brothers. Police described both men as “non-verbal,” according to a press release.
Police described the condition of the room where the two men were found as having no furniture, no access to a bathroom, and only a bed comforter on a tile floor. According to the press release, the only light in the room was not working, but a radio was playing loud music. Police said the room had a small window that was not large enough to serve as an emergency exit. There was also no working smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in the home, police said in the release.
According to the release, there was an “overwhelming smell of urine coming from the room” and police said the room had been used as the victims’ bedroom for the past six years.
The two men were taken to an area hospital for evaluation and placed in the care of Adult Protective Services.
John Land was released after posting $75,000 bond and Janice Land was released after posing $50,000 bond. No attorney was listed for either of the Lands in a search of online court documents.
The Montgomery County Police Department offers an Autism Outreach program. To learn more about the services the department provides for the Autistic community, contact Officer Laurie Reyes at Laurie.Reyes@montgomerycountymd.gov. If abuse of any kind is suspected, call 9-1-1.