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Child Cruelty, False Imprisonment

(Lawrenceville, Georgia, June 26, 2014) On June 15, 2014, the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) received an anonymous complaint regarding a 13 year old boy being imprisoned in his family’s home.  DFCS investigated the home at 1924 Pierce Way in Buford, Georgia, on June 16, 2014.  Case workers discovered the 13 year old boy was, in fact, being confined to a small room, which locked from the outside.  The room contained a box spring and mattress (no bedding) and a large plastic jar, which was apparently used as a toilet.  The victim appeared to be in generally good health.  The parents stated the victim was confined for disciplinary reasons.  The victim’s nine other siblings were not confined and also appeared to be in generally good health.  There were no signs of malnourishment or physical abuse to the victim or his siblings.  DFCS required the lock to be removed from the door and left the victim and his siblings in the custody of their parents.

A deprivation hearing was held on June 19, 2014.  The presiding judge placed the victim and his nine siblings in DFCS custody.  The Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) was contacted following the hearing and began a criminal investigation.  A search warrant was executed at the home the same day; detectives found the victim’s room largely unchanged.  Two of the walls were concrete and two were sheetrock (all painted blue); the floor was hardwood.  A single fitted sheet had been added to the mattress.  The room was clean, and like the rest of the house, was in good repair.  The room was dark; there was no light bulb in the room’s light fixture. The room’s single window was painted white, which let in a small amount of light during daylight hours.

The investigation revealed the following: The victim had been confined to the room for most of the past two years and a lock had been added to the victim’s room in January 2013.  The victim had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices, or his siblings.  He was provided with food at normal meal times and was occasionally let out to use the bathroom.  He did not attend school or any other activities during this time.

The parents, Recardo Wimbush (B/M, 33 years old) and Therian Wimbush (B/F, 37 years old), have each been charged with cruelty to children in the first degree and false imprisonment.  They are scheduled to turn themselves in on June 27, 2014.  Aspects of this investigation are ongoing.

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