The bungalow on Duke Court, in a southern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, looks for all the world like a comfortable family home, the lawn neatly mown and surrounded by mature trees garlanded in lights, with a Christmas wreath hung just so on the front door.
But for police who came knocking late Friday night in pursuit of a tip, it was a crime scene of monstrous proportions, where a 13-year-old boy appears to have been concealed in a secret room behind a false wall in a linen closet, allegedly held against his will for four years, as he was mistreated and beaten by his father and stepmother.
“From all indications, it appears that the child was being hidden,” said a Clayton County police spokesman. Neighbours reported the unnamed boy had been hidden in plain sight, playing with neighbourhood kids, and often doing yard work. The stepmother, identified as Samantha Joy…
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