Girl locked in room, parents arrested

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OLD APPLETON, MO - Two parents facing felony charges for locking their daughter in a closet sized room for days.

James Bradley Hughes and Rebekah Elizabeth Hughes are charged with child abuse.

The couple's 15-year-old daughter said after she returned home from a mental health facility in St. Louis Thursday night her parents locked her in an 8 x 10 room.

She told police she was only given food and bathroom breaks when her parents allowed it, and in the meantime she was given a Blue Bunny ice cream container to use as the restroom.

The victim said she had one sheet, one blanket and a piece of foam to use on top of some plywood.

"They carpeted the walls and screwed the windows shut from the inside and put a lock on the door where it could only be opened from the outside and not the inside," said Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Captain David James.

On Saturday while her parents were away at a birthday party the girl jumped through one window that was not screwed shut.

She ran to a neighbors home who happened to be an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.

Police searched the home and found the room exactly how the girl had described.

"The father returned home and he was immediately placed under arrest, at that point the mother had left the area and she was apprehended by highway patrol in Matthews Missouri at a truck stop," said James.

Neighbors said they never expected anything like this.

"Very shocked very shocked I actually didn’t know what to believe there are a lot of rumors flying around but just shock and disbelief," said neighbor Jamie Buhheit.

Police said they have responded to one other family service call at that home but once they got there they were not allowed inside.