Invisible Children

3 Children of Fernando and Sophia Richter

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Two girls, ages 12 and 13, escaped through a window in their room and ran to alert a neighbor to their plight after their stepfather threatened them with a knife. Police found a third girl, aged 17, locked in a separate bedroom. The girls’ mother reported that they were being homeschooled. All three girls were dirty and malnourished, and they reported that they had not had a bath in six months. The girls’ rooms were rigged with padlocks, alarms, and video surveillance, and the girls were fed only once a day. The girls had been imprisoned in their rooms for months, with loud music or static (if the girls misbehaved) piped into their crudely soundproofed rooms 24/7. Several neighbors said they were unaware that there were children living in the home. The charges against the girls’ stepfather include sexual abuse.

Date: November 26, 2013
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Documents: Date:
Girls escape parents after months in captivity, police say 2013-11-27
Police review journal of Tucson teen held captive 2013-11-27
Details emerge on 3 girls held captive in Arizona home 2013-11-27