Questions surround abused teenage twins who escaped home

[CUOMO]

CYPRESS, Texas (NewsNation) — Last week, NewsNation reported on a horrifying story of two teenaged twins who escaped from their Texas home after alleged abuse.

Doorbell camera footage shows what appears to be two children, barely clothed and in handcuffs, appearing to be beaten, pounding on someone’s door at around 5:30 in the morning.

The neighbor who answered her door alerted authorities, fed the children and kept them warm until police arrived on the scene.

NewsNation has learned that the teens have since been discharged from the hospital and are under the care of state case workers. The mother of the teens, Zaikiya Duncan, and her boyfriend, Jova Terrell, have been detained in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They are awaiting extradition to Texas.

In the final days at the hospital, the twins were actually in good spirits, according to Houston authorities. A forensic test also revealed that the siblings are 15, not 16.

According to previous records, Duncan has been abusing her children since 2010. Authorities were called to Duncan’s house after a complaint was made after someone noticed bruising and scabbing on one of her children. Duncan apparently told authorities it was a belt spanking, and no charges were filed.

In 2012, one of Duncan’s children was taken to the school clinic after a teacher noticed burns. In 2019, Duncan was convicted of deserting her child in Louisiana. Details are vague because the cases involve minors.

“Any time you’re dealing with investigations involving minors, you come across confidentiality hurdles. But I have to say, this specific case and story has been an entirely different level of difficult to get agencies to talk,” NewsNation’s Dallas Bureau Correspondent Markie Martin says.

Martin also learned that the biological dad of the children, who is believed to be Nicholas Menina, reportedly admitted that they kept boards in front of their doors so the kids could not “escape” or “steal food” from the kitchen.

His current place of employment is a church, based on his Facebook profile, the New York Post first reported. The pastor of the church has declined to comment on the case because it involves minors.

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