3 girls say they were imprisoned in Tucson home; parents jailed

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by 3TV

Video report by Karen Brown

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 5:59 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A Tucson couple are in custody after three sisters told police they were imprisoned in their home by their mother and stepfather for up to two years.

The girls are 12, 13 and 17 years old.

Tucson police Capt. Mike Gillooly said the children have been removed from the home and their mother and stepfather have been arrested.

Aunt: Tucson woman lied about girls' whereabouts

The girls' mother, 32-year-old Sophia Richter, and their stepfather, 34-year-old Fernando Richter (above), were booked into the Pima County Jail. They face multiple charges of child abuse and kidnapping.

The two youngest girls escaped to a neighbor's house early Tuesday and the neighbor called 911. When officers arrived, they found the third girl locked in one of the home's bedrooms.

The girls told police they had been imprisoned in their bedrooms for at least the last several months, and possibly up to two years.

According to police, all the girls were malnourished and living in filthy conditions. The sisters reportedly told police they were fed only once a day and hadn't taken a bath in months.

"All three juveniles were extremely dirty and malnourished and stated they had not bathed in the last four to six months," says Capt. Mike Gilooly of the Tucson Police Dept. "They were kept in filthy living conditions, separately, and told our patrol officer they had not seen each other in almost two years."

A resident who has lived in the neighborhood for about five years reportedly told police she didn't know anyone was living in the home and that there was no activity visible at the house.

"If there were kids, they never came out and played," one neighor says. "We have kids all over this neighborhood and they had to try extra hard to keep themselves secluded, you know, because obviously somebody would have said, noticed something."

Residents also say that most of the homes in the neighborhood are rentals.

Records show that the current owners of the home are Walter C. Noll and Sharon Noll, both residents of Cave Creek.

Fernando Richter faces three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child abuse/emotional abuse,  three counts of child abuse/physical abuse and one count of sexual abuse with a person under 15 years of age.

Sophia Richter faces three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child abuse/emotional abuse and three counts of child abuse/physical abuse.

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